sam maloof

Sam Maloof – Furniture Designer and Woodworker

sam maloof

Sam Maloof is a famous American furniture designer and woodworker. His work is represented in major museums throughout the United States. He is a highly respected and popular artist, and his legacy is one of creativity, skill, and passion.

Life and times

Sam Maloof was an American craftsman who lived and worked in Alta Loma, California. A celebrated artist and woodworker, Maloof was a master of light and color. He created furniture for his home and the homes of others. The furniture that he made is now a part of many important private collections in the United States. His work has been showcased in the White House and at museums around the world.

A self-taught woodworker, Maloof had no formal training. After serving in the Army during World War II, he began making furniture. In his early years, he carved dollhouse furniture for his mother. Later, he turned his attention to custom-made furniture. During this time, he became friends with potters and stained glass artists.

Maloof received a number of accolades for his work. He was the first woodworker to be elected a fellow of the American Craft Council and the first to receive the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation grant. Also, he was honored with a MacArthur Foundation fellowship.


One of the most respected and honored American craftsmen, Sam Maloof was a master woodworker and designer. His career spanned six decades. He received numerous awards, and his work has been exhibited in many public and private collections.

Maloof’s artistic style was influenced by both his Lebanese heritage and the local Mexican-American culture. From his beginnings, he followed his passion for woodworking and mastered materials, achieving great success.

In the 1950s, he began designing custom furniture, and his walnut furniture complemented modernist homes built during the same era. During that time, he established a strong connection with the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, which commissioned pieces from his furniture for its permanent collection.

After receiving his degree, he worked as a graphic artist before returning to his true passion. In addition, he served in the U.S. Army during World War II.


Sam Maloof is an American furniture designer. He is known internationally for his work in contemporary design. His signature pieces include rocking chairs and tables. Those of his designs are highly collectible and have earned him numerous awards.

Throughout his career, Maloof worked with wood and recycled materials. When he was younger, he carved wooden toys for himself and his mother. In high school, he became known for his hand-lettered posters.

Maloof was raised by Lebanese immigrants in the Pomona Valley, east of Los Angeles. He was a self-taught artisan. He learned Arabic from his parents before learning English.

After working as a graphic artist for a decade, he left his job to devote his life to furniture making. He was married in 1948 to Alfreda Ward. They moved to Alta Loma, CA.

Fine art collection

Sam Maloof is a celebrated American craftsman, renowned for his mastery of light, color, and materials. He was an early leader in the national craft movement. His work is held in private and public collections worldwide, including the Smithsonian’s American Art Museum, the White House Collection of American Crafts, and the National Gallery of Art.

Maloof was born in Chino, California. He began his artistic career as a graphic artist, but eventually switched to woodworking. Initially, he worked as an assistant to famous painter Millard Sheets. In 1947, he travelled to Mexico to paint. During this trip, he painted three watercolors.

Afterwards, he went on to work as an assistant to another painter, Henry Dreyfuss, who designed iconic appliances such as the Hoover vacuum cleaner. A year later, he was commissioned to create 25 pieces of furniture for Dreyfuss’ new modern home in Pasadena.


A leader of the California modern arts movement, Sam Maloof was a master woodworker who crafted furniture for more than five decades. He was the first craft artist to receive a “genius grant” from the MacArthur Foundation.

The Maloof family’s commitment to the arts and crafts movement continues. In honor of Sam’s legacy, the Maloof Foundation has established a scholarship for students at Cal State San Bernardino who major in art.

One of the most famous woodworkers of our time, Maloof’s work has earned numerous awards, including an honorary doctorate from three universities and a MacArthur fellowship. His designs are in private and public collections across the country.

Sam and Alfreda Maloof founded the Sam and Alfreda Maloof Foundation for Arts and Crafts in 1994. Their mission is to celebrate and promote the handiwork of American artisans.