The Colquitt County Arts Center will host an exhibition of wooden vessels turned by the world-renowned Moulthrop family of Atlanta Jan. 15-Feb. 13, one of the most significant shows of the center's 37-year history.
In conjunction with the exhibition, Phillip Moulthrop and Matt Moulthrop will conduct a seminar on the skills and techniques employed in their art. The Moulthrop seminar will be held on Jan. 16 at 10 a.m. at the center and the public is invited to attend.
The exhibition will include approximately 50 bowls representing the various shapes and sizes of the Moultrop art. Southeastern woods used by the Moulthrops include maple, tulipwood, cherry, sweetgum, mahogany, magnolia, oak and pine. Some of the bowls will be from private collections and some will be from The Signature Shop of Atlanta. Many of those from The Signature Shop will be available for purchase.
The Moulthrop lineage consists of the patriarch, Edward (1916-2003); his son Phillip; and Matt, son of Phillip and grandson of Edward. Although each is noted as a world class woodturner, each features his own style and technique. This variety of styles and material gives weight to the Colquitt County exhibition. It is the first show of the entire family to be held in Georgia outside of the metro Atlanta area.
Ed Moulthrop grew up in Ohio, and he graduated in 1939 from Case Institute of Technology with a degree in architecture. He then enrolled at Princeton earning a master’s degree in 1941. Moving to Atlanta he taught architecture at Georgia Tech and also had a successful practice. His love of working with wood, however, led him eventually to full-time work as a woodturner. His combination of skills earned him recognition from the American Institute of Architecture with medals in 1978 and in 1980. He was honored by the state of Georgia with the Governor’s Award in the Arts in 1981.
Ed Moulthrop's vessels can be found in dozens of collections including those of the Smithsonian Institute, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Chicago Art Institute, the New Britain Museum of American Art and the Boston Museum of Fine Art. Private collectors of his work include Ted Turner, Jack Nicklaus, Paul Simon and Steven Spielberg. During the 1990s Hillary Clinton made a gift of an Ed Moulthrop bowl to Nelson Mandela. Bill and Hillary Clinton placed Ed Moulthrop bowls in the White House Collection of American Crafts.
Phillip Moulthrop was born in Atlanta in 1947. He earned a degree from West Georgia College, and then joined the U.S. Navy spending a one-year tour in Vietnam. After being honorably discharged, he entered the Woodrow Wilson College of Law at Princeton. After graduation he opened a practice of law in Atlanta but, like his father, was drawn to wood turning. Eventually he became a full-time artist. His bowls joined his father’s in the White House Collection of American Crafts. They also can be found in museums in Switzerland, Yale University and in New York at the Museum of Arts and Design. In 2004 Phillip Moulthrop bowls were given as gifts to the eight international dignitaries attending the G8 Economic Conference at Sea Island.
Matt Moulthrop was born in Atlanta in 1977. He earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Georgia and his MBA from Georgia Tech. Following in his father’s and his grandfather’s footsteps he has become a full-time, successful woodturner. Honoring his association with Georgia Tech, Matt has placed one of his bowls along with his father's and his grandfather's at the College of Management at Georgia Tech. In 2013 Matt reached out to alumni and trustees of Auburn University offering to work with wood from the Toomer's Corner oaks that had been poisoned. The large, handsome vessel he produced sits today in the Auburn Museum of Fine Arts as a revered symbol of remembrance.
In 2011 PBS aired a one-hour documentary on the Moulthrops as part of its Craft in America series. In its May 22, 2015 edition the London Times wrote glowingly of the Moulthrop family of artists as a “three-generation dynasty of artisans who use the wood of the southeastern U. S. as their raw materials.”