Ashville, N.C. – Rosanne Somerson, Interim Provost, Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), will be honored with The Furniture Society’s Award of Distinction for lifetime achievement in the field of studio furniture, it was announced today by Alfred Sharp, President of The Furniture Society. The prestigious award will be presented at the Furniture Society’s 2012 Annual Conference at the Maine College of Art, Portland ME, June 14-16.

“Rosanne Somerson’s life and career have had a profound and far-reaching impact on American furniture design, which is the underlying purpose of the Award of Distinction,” said Sharp. “Her tenure at RISD and other ventures have been characterized by leadership and devotion to innovative design and education.”

In addition to her current position as RISD Interim Provost for the 20011-12 academic year, Somerson was Interim Associate Provost for Academic Affairs from 2005 to 2007. Previously, she served as Professor and Head of the Department of Furniture Design, which she helped form in 1995, and, from 1985 to 1995, she ran the MFA Graduate Program in Furniture Design in Industrial Design.

Since 1978, Somerson has maintained her own design studio, where she creates furniture for exhibition and by commission. She also is a partner in DEZCO Furniture Design LLC, a production furniture company.

Somerson’s work has been exhibited at the Museum of Decorative Arts of the Louvre, Paris, and many other major international museums and galleries. Her work is featured in numerous books and publications. It is included in private, corporate and museum collections, notably the Smithsonian American Art Museum; Museum of Fine Art, Boston; Yale University Art Gallery; Huntsville (AL) Museum of Art; Fuller Craft Museum, Brockton, MA; The Smith College Museum of Art and the Museum of Art, RISD. Somerson has lectured throughout the world, served on panels and juries, and appeared on videos and TV segments.

The Furniture Society’s Annual Conference draws more than 400 furniture makers, collectors, students and educators. It offers a broad range of presentations, demonstrations and panel discussions centered on the design, techniques, technology, materials and business of furniture making. For detailed information on the Society and conference, visit

Source: The Furniture Society

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