17 Facts About Sam Maloof


Sam Maloof was a furniture designer and woodworker.


Sam Maloof learned to speak Spanish from a Mexican-born housekeeper and Arabic from his parents even before he learned English.


Sam Maloof was engaged in woodworking even as a child, made a broad spatula for his mother for turning bread, carved dollhouse furniture, cars and other toys.


Sam Maloof attended high school first at Chaffey High School in Ontario, California, where he took his first woodworking class and was recognized by his art teacher as having extraordinary skill.


Shortly after completing high school, Sam Maloof began working in the art department of the Vortox Manufacturing Company in Claremont, California.


Sam Maloof was drafted into the United States Army on October 11,1941.


Sam Maloof was promoted from private to master sergeant while doing display work in Alaska.


In 1946, Sam Maloof became reacquainted with Millard Sheets while he was doing screen printing for Angelus-Pacific.


Sheets invited Sam Maloof to come to Claremont, California to work for him and become his studio assistant.


In 1947, while waiting for Millard Sheets at Scripps College, Sam Maloof met Alfreda Ward.


Maloof married Alfreda Ward on June 27,1948 and the couple moved into a house at 921 Plaza Serena, Ontario, California, where Sam set up a furniture workshop in the garage.


Mostly from necessity, Sam Maloof designed and built a suite of furniture for his home using salvaged materials.


Sam Maloof's work is in the collections of several major American museums, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the Smithsonian American Art Museum.


Sam Maloof is featured in the 2007 PBS series "Craft in America: Memory, Landscape, Community", produced by Carol Sauvion.


Sam Maloof tended to favor only a handful of woods: Claro Walnut, Cherry, Oak, Rosewood and Yew.


In 1985 Mr Sam Maloof became the first craftsman to receive a MacArthur fellowship; and despite such recognition, he declined to identify himself as an artist.


Sam Maloof died at the age of 93 on May 21,2009 at his home in the Alta Loma section of Rancho Cucamonga, California.