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Rosanne Somerson, president at the Rhode Island School of Design 2015-21, came to the institution as a freshman photography major but quickly discovered the joys and challenges of woodworking and furniture design. Studying with Tage Frid, she received a BFA in Industrial Design in 1976, eventually teaching in the program and helping to found the world-renowned furniture design department at RISD. Somerson’s studio work covers a broad range, from very personal pieces to commissions for museums, corporations, and individuals. She views furniture in relation to the interactive needs of people, from utilitarian and emotional perspectives. Her furniture is in the collections of the Smithsonian, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Smith College Museum, The Huntsville Museum, and the RISD Museum, among others. Somerson has lectured and exhibited throughout the globe, and has won numerous awards for her work.
artist, furniture, studio furniture, wood, NetWorksRI, artist profile, documentary video, RISD, faculty, alumni
Art and Design
Joseph A. Chazen, M.D.
Somerson, Rosanne and Goulis, Richard, "Rosanne Somerson" (2013). NetWorks RI | RISD Faculty Profiles. 22.