RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif., May 23 (UPI) -- Celebrated California furniture designer Sam Maloof, whose works helped define 1950s modernism, has died at age 93, his business manager said.
Maloof died Thursday in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., his longtime business manager Roz Bock confirmed to the Los Angeles Times.
Maloof's hand-crafted, unadorned modernist designs of wooden rocking chairs, hi-fi cabinets, hutches, coffee tables and cradles emphasized simplicity and usefulness and were fervently sought by Southern California homeowners in the 1950s and 1960s, the newspaper said.
He turned down many offers to have his decor mass-produced, preferring instead to remain a self-described simple woodworker, building furniture one piece at a time in his workshop. Maloof's pieces have now become treasured collectors' items, experts said.
"He was trying to make other people appreciate what it was like to live with a handcrafted object in which there was a kind of union between maker, object and owner," Jeremy Adamson, who wrote the 2001 book "The Furniture of Sam Maloof," told the Times.
U.S. President Jimmy Carter and other chief executives since have used Maloof's iconic rocking chairs in the White House, the newspaper said.