Robb Design Portfolio: Family Trees

  • Photo by Cordero Studios, www.corderostudios.com
    From left: Tulip Poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera) by Ed Moulthrop ($12,000–$14,000); Bundled Mosaic by Philip Moulthrop ($9,000); and Tulip Poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera) by Matt Moulthrop ($8,500). Photo by Cordero Studios, www.corderostudios.com

Three generations of Atlanta’s Moulthrop family (www.moulthropstudios.com) have yielded to the allure of wood turning. In the 1970s, after decades of hobbyist wood turning—a process that uses a lathe to transform logs into sculptural vessels—Ed Moulthrop left his successful architectural career and helped lead this burgeoning art movement. His son Philip departed the legal world to join him in 1979, and just before Ed’s death, in 2002, Philip’s son Matt began selling his own turned-wood work while completing his MBA.

Examples from all three generations are now displayed in galleries and private and institutional collections around the country. The curator of next year’s "40 under 40: Craft Futures" exhibit at the Smithsonian American Art Museum has selected 33-year-old Matt for inclusion—as well he should, since it was a piece of Matt’s that inspired the show in the first place.

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