Rosanne Somerson

Rosanne Somerson, photo by Scott Lapham.

Rosanne Somerson, photo by Scott Lapham.

Rosanne Somerson is the president at the Rhode Island School of Design, she 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.

Source: NetWorks 2013 – 2014 Catalogue


Wrapped, 2011
Makore, sycamore, pigmented medium, and linen, 35.5 x 42.375 x 9.75 in.
Child Trophy, 1998
Mahogany,13.5 x 8.75 x 8.75 in.


Video: Richard Goulis
Music: Hannah Devine
Executive Producer: Joseph A. Chazan, M.D.

Additional Resources:

About The Author
- Highlighting the work of selected artists who have played vital roles in shaping the contemporary visual arts community in Rhode Island. This collection of brief video portraits provides a window into the lives, practices, and cultural contributions of professional artists.

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