Mission of the Foundation
The mission of the Sam and Alfreda Maloof Foundation for Arts and Crafts, a not-for-profit public benefit corporation, is to perpetuate excellence in craftsmanship, encourage artists and make available to the public the treasure house the Maloofs lovingly created.
The Mission of SAMFAC is to honor and further the legacy of
Sam and Alfreda Maloof.
The Foundation pursues the promise inherent in this legacy as it:
Inspires woodworkers, artists, craftspeople, collectors, and others
Maintains and grows the principal archive of the lives, work and collections of the Maloofs
Celebrates the Maloofs’ creative spirit, love of woodworking, artistic expression and collecting
Produces educational tours, exhibits and programs
Stewards the historic compound in Rancho Cucamonga, California
Partners with like-minded organizations and individuals
Sam and Alfreda Maloof
Sam Maloof is acknowledged as one of the finest woodworkers of our time. As a leader of the California modern arts movement, he designed and produced furniture infused with profound artistic vision for more than half a century until his death in 2009.
Maloof’s work was the subject of a prestigious retrospective at the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Renwick Gallery in 2001 and is part of their permanent collection. His furniture is in some of the most important private collections in the nation and the permanent collections of the Boston Museum of Art, the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art and many other fine museums. In 1985 he was named a MacArthur Fellow and later received honorary doctorates from the Rhode Island School of Design and other institutions of higher learning.
Alfreda Maloof, an artist, teacher and former Director of Arts and Crafts at the Indian School in Santa Fe, New Mexico, 1938-1941, met Sam Maloof while taking postgraduate classes at Scripps College. They got married on June 19, 1948. She inspired Sam in his work and managed the Maloof woodworking business until her death in 1998.
Central to Sam’s work and life is the sprawling hand-built residence and adjoining woodshop. Nestled in a lemon grove near the San Gabriel Mountains in Southern California, the residence is filled with Maloof furniture and many examples of later 20th Century American outstanding arts and crafts.
History of the Maloof Foundation
In 1990, the Maloof residence and woodshop were deemed eligible for the National Register of Historic Places. With the long-planned Foothill Freeway extension set to cut through the Maloof site, negotiations began to save the buildings by moving them to a nearby location. The original location was a working lemon grove and the new six-acre site was chosen partly for the existing lemon trees that recall the original environment and complement the new landscaping.
Today the relocated residence is open as a living museum. Once again, each room is filled with treasures that give this unique home its spirit. The woodshops were moved to the new site, as were many of the trees from the former Maloof property. The landscaping consists of a natural garden of water-wise California native plants and compatible plants from other Mediterranean climate zones around the world. Benches, sculpture, and picnic areas offer spaces for visitors’ quiet reflection and relaxation.
The Sam and Alfreda Maloof Foundation, established in 1994, is committed to creating a pre-eminent center that preserves the Maloof’s legacy and fosters the arts and crafts movement. The work of the Foundation recognizes the ever increasing role of the crafts in our world of machine-made products – the reconnecting of human values with natural forms and materials.
A principal responsibility of the Foundation is protection and conservation of the art, furnishings, structures and grounds entrusted to it. The residence itself is one of the most treasured parts of the collection, reflecting the living spirit of the arts and crafts movement throughout. The Foundation also makes the Maloof Center available to the public, artists and researchers and is developing a variety of programs, including visiting craftsmen, workshops, and arts and crafts exhibits. The Jacobs Education Center provides gallery and meeting space.
After the move, Sam continued to create furniture at the new site and to add to his fine art collection that encompasses work from all media, including many renowned artists such as Maria Martinez, Millard Sheets, Harrison McIntosh, Paul Soldner, Kay Sekimachi, and Bob Stocksdale.