Master Craftswoman

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Kristina Madsen ’73, a longtime, influential furniture maker who incorporates European and Fijian techniques, received the 2020 Award of Distinction by the Furniture Society. Her pieces—at once functional and beautiful—showcase her mastery of the craft. Trained in furniture making by British master craftsman David Powell at the Leeds Design Workshop in the late 1970s, Madsen went on to be artist-in-residence at the University of Tasmania in 1988. She learned Fijian carving methods during a Fulbright-sponsored apprenticeship in 1991. A colleague quoted in an article in Woodworking Network called Madsen a “national treasure.”

Her work is exhibited in permanent collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., among many others.