Woodard Furniture Exhibition at Shiawassee Arts Center




This Woodard Orleans chair design is in the permanent collection of the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, D.C.

This Woodard Orleans chair design is in the permanent collection of the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, D.C.

GENESEE COUNTY — It’s summer time and the living is easy breezy with backyard barbecues and other outdoor activities filling up leisure hours.

For many families the patio or deck are the center of outdoor living and fortunate families do it with the comfort and style of Woodard outdoor furniture. The high quality furniture has been manufactured in Owosso for 146 years.

That lifestyle is being showcased in a two-month major exhibition being presented at the Shiawassee Arts Center, June 1-July 29.

To recognize Woodard’s historical significance and contribution to the American furniture industry the Shiawassee Arts Center has partnered with the Woodard Company and members of the Woodard family to create an exhibit to bring pride and inspiration to Owosso residents and draw hundreds of visitors to the mid-Michigan community.

Woodard made design history in 1940 with its introduction of the Orleans furniture collection. It is as gracefully curved as French furniture, yet light and open in scale and restrained in ornamentation. A simple oak leaf and acorn motif identifies this design, which was one of Woodard’s best sellers for decades. The Orleans chair is in the permanent collection of the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, DC. and was chosen for being the longest running Woodard design.

The SAC exhibit, “The Worth of Woodard,” covers three centuries of Woodard furniture designs beginning with the wood chairs and bedroom sets that were made in the late 1800’s, continuing with the wrought iron designs of the 1930’s-1960’s and on through today’s metal and aluminum designs.

The exhibit is set up throughout the main floor of the Arts Center.

The Shiawassee Arts Center, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, is located at 206 Curwood Castle Drive in Owosso, about 20 miles west of Flint.

Hours are 1-5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. The public is welcome and there is no admission charge. For more information call the Arts Center at 989-723-8354 or visit www.shiawasseearts.org. Rhonda Sanders


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