Bok Read Woodworking.

Philadelphia’s rich furniture tradition stretches back centuries. During the 1700s, some of the finest examples of Queen Anne and Chippendale furniture were produced in the city and by the mid-twentieth century, the region was at the forefront of the American studio furniture movement. Thanks to the iconic modern artisans who settled in the area, including George Nakashima, Paul Evans, and Phillip Lloyd Powell, as well as the contemporary makers who continue to flock there, the Philadelphia region has upheld its reputation as a haven for innovative and skilled furniture makers to this day.

The Philadelphia Furniture Show, held April 8-10 at the 23rd Street Armory, is dedicated to supporting the city’s tradition of fine woodworking as well as the proliferation of craftspeople nationwide. Now in its 22nd year, the show, which highlights exceptional artisan-quality furniture, is the longest running exhibition of its kind. Stefa Normantas, the show’s managing partner, says, “This event is one of the best kept secrets in the country. These skilled artisans from all over the country bring their standout pieces to Philadelphia, transforming the 23rd Street Armory into a sea of modern and traditional handmade furniture and furnishings. Attendees can speak directly with the master artisan about a specific piece or commission for something truly unique.”

Studio 233.
Steve Krazter Woodworker.

This year’s show will feature the work of seventy-five artisans, including woodworkers, weavers, potters and photographers. Exhibitors include the Nakashima Foundation for Peace; Greg Pilotti, a Chester County furniture maker whose works are inspired by the craftspeople of the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries; and John Landis, a Pennsylvania-based furniture maker who creates architectural pieces in exotic woods. Normantas says, “Each piece presented [at the show] is the culmination of a lifetime pursuit of creative expression. Their work will be the next generation of heirlooms.” Approximately 2,000 visitors are expected to attend the show during its three-day run.

David S. Talley.
Carlino Gallery.

The Philadelphia Furniture Show will open on Friday, April 8, with a preview party benefiting the Nakashima Foundation for Peace. An exhibition of the work of George Nakashima is being organized for the show by the artist’s daughter and head of Nakashima Studio, Mira Nakashima. Mira will be on hand to greet guests and discuss her father’s influential work. On Saturday, April 9, four local interior designers will be available to walk the show floor with guests, providing insight on how to select the right studio furniture for any space.   

The Philadelphia Furniture Show will run through Sunday, April 10. For more information, click HERE.