Thomas Moser’s importance to the world of craftsmanship and fine furniture will be celebrated and examined at Mattatuck Museum’s retrospective, Thos. Moser: Legacy in Wood, opening March 20. Thos. Moser has devoted more than 45 years to the artistry and craft of designing and building Handmade American Furniture. Curated by former Maine Arts Commission Director Donna McNeil, the exhibit complements Moser’s latest book, also titled Legacy in Wood, which is co-authored by McNeil and published by Down East Books.
The exhibition surveys Moser’s decades-long engagement with wood: from struggling to find his passion, learning through master craftsmen before him, leaving a tenured teaching position to pursue furniture making full time, and devoting himself to craft. His entrepreneurial endeavor not only generated a livelihood for his family, but also supported a community of craftsmen, ultimately delivering ethical and sustainable objects of beauty and utility.
“Thos. Moser: Legacy in Wood emphasizes Mattatuck Museum’s mission of bringing together both art and history by exhibiting works that showcase the beautiful craftsmanship of woodworking,” says Mattatuck Museum Director Robert Burns. “This is a great opportunity for our visitors to enjoy the beauty of such a historic practice.”
Moser’s chairs, tables, beds and desks are fashioned from American hardwood to endure longer than it took the tree to grow in the forests of the Allegheny Plateau of Western Pennsylvania. The exhibit follows Moser’s journey from early design iterations through several design changes or variations on a central theme, always returning to what Moser via Plato calls “ultimate chairness.”
“I’m honored to share our story and our joy in crafting furnishings with Mattatuck Museum and all who visit,” says Tom Moser. “The Museum’s mission is similar to what we hope to accomplish with this exhibit and that is to engage the community and provide an understanding of the past as well as a vision for the future. The exhibit demonstrates that we all have the freedom to become all that we are capable of being.”
An opening reception for Thos. Moser: Legacy in Wood at Mattatuck Museum, located at 144 West Main Street, Waterbury, Connecticut, will be held Sunday, March 20 from 2-4 p.m. The exhibit, which runs through May 22, 2016, is open during regular hours Tuesday-Saturday 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sunday 12 noon-5 p.m. Admission is free to Museum members and children under 16, $7 for adults, and $6 for Seniors 65+ or college students with valid college IDs. For more information, call 203.753.0381, x130 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.mattatuckmuseum.org.