In Beth Lipman’s Margin For Error (2014) an infant Crib and an adult Cradle are oriented to evoke the universal journey from birth to death. The crib tilts downward, sinking slowly into the floor, propelling its inhabitant toward childhood, adolescence, adulthood, and old age, at which point the cradle awaits occupation.
“When you’re working, there’s a communion between the object-maker and the material, [and] it transcends into something much greater,” said furniture designer and woodworker Sam Maloof. “When you make something and someone likes it, enjoys it and all, you’re paid tenfold.”
Maloof was one of the United States’ preeminent woodworkers during the second half of the twentieth century. In 1966, Paul J. Smith, Director of the Museum of Arts and Design (MAD), invited Maloof to show his Cradle Cabinet in a thematic exhibition, The Bed. A masterpiece of woodworking skill and sensitivity, the cabinet is also innovative in its design, combining all of the functional needs of a newborn’s nursery into a single piece of furniture.
Photographed in The Museum of Arts and Design in NYC.