PORTLAND — Thos. Moser is one of America’s finest furniture making endeavors. “Thos. Moser: Legacy in Wood” surveys their 44 years of engagement with wood: Thomas Moser’s struggle to find himself after being orphaned at 18, his learning through long-dead masters, his decision to leave a tenured teaching position to pursue furniture making full time, and his aesthetic and entrepreneurial choices throughout life. At a time when artisans are searching for meaningful ways to engage with their work and their audience, which can afford them fiscal independence, Thomas Moser’s journey provides an example of devotion to artistry and craftsmanship that is uncompromisingly ethical while generating a livelihood for his family, a community of artisans and delivering to the world objects of great beauty and utility.
“Tom’s career demonstrates how art, craft, design and entrepreneurship can come together,” President Donald Tuski said. The work included in the exhibition spans four decades; in many instances walking the viewer through the growth of a chair from early design iterations through several design changes or variations on a central theme, always returning to what Moser via Plato calls “ultimate chairness.”
“Thos. Moser: Legacy in Wood” will be on view through Sept. 20 at the Maine College of Art’s Institute of Contemporary Art, 522 Congress St. The hours 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Wednesday to Sunday, to 7 p.m. Thursdays and to 8 p.m. Fridays.