Emil Milan: Midcentury Master

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2018-05-31
  • Publisher: The Center for Art in Wood
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Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?

  • The New copy of this book will include any supplemental materials advertised. Please check the title of the book to determine if it should include any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.


•The first publication dedicated to the artist Emil Milan, illustrated with his finest artistic creations

•Previously unseen documents and photographs

•Rare artwork

•The artist is illuminated through stories and interviews from those who knew him best

•Milan's life story is woven through American history, including WWII and the American studio craft movement

•Midcentury modern design

Artist Emil Milan (American, 1922-1985) was a major contributor to the studio craft movement in the 1950s and 60s. He was an innovator in woodworking tools and techniques, and a pioneer in using power tools to boost production. After training to be a sculptor at the Art Students League of New York, he developed and produced a distinctive line of "functional sculpture" - wooden bowls, trays, and serving ware - that captured the essence of Midcentury Modern Design. He stood with now legendary artists and designers like Wharton Esherick, Sam Maloof, Wendell Castle, Charles Eames, George Nakashima, and Bob Stocksdale (among others) in the most important exhibitions of fine craft in America. His wares were tailored for and sold in high-end retailers such as Hammacher Schlemmer, Saks Fifth Avenue and the original Pottery Barn store in Manhattan. After moving to rural Pennsylvania in 1961, he re-emerged as a teacher, mentor, and role model for dozens of successful artists and woodworkers who found inspiration in his teaching, his methods, and his self-sufficient lifestyle close to nature. After fading into obscurity following his death, this book rekindles awareness and appreciation of this remarkable American artist.

Contents: Foreword; Introduction; Part 1: Roselle, New Jersey; Part 2: Thompson, Pennsylvania; Part 3: Revival; Epilogue: Emil Milan in Perspective; Circle of Influence; Catalogue of Emil Milan Artworks; Biographical Timeline; Exhibitions; Museum Collections; Resources; Index.

Author Biography

Born in Portland, OR, Craig Edelbrock is a Professor and Dean at the University of Alabama. He is an amateur woodworker interested in craft history and biography, midcentury design, and the studio craft movement in America. He has served on the boards of the Wharton Esherick Museum (Paoli, PA), the Center for Art in Wood (Philadelphia), the Collectors of Wood Art, and the Kentucky Art Center (Northport, AL). Emil Milan is his "craft greatgrandfather" - the author's mentor was trained by a man who apprenticed with Milan. These three degrees of separation resulted in the obsession to write this book.

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