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Tommy Simpson Portrait

Tommy Simpson

Also Known as: Tom Simpson, Thomas Simpson

Elgin, Illinois 1939

Photo Caption:
Photo by Karen Lafleur

Luce Artist Quote

"I see a distinction between Art and the artist's creative process. It is that endless and very personal activity that is most important to me. I can give my life to that." The artist, quoted in Pamela Koob, Tommy Simpson, 1993

Luce Artist Biography

As a child, Tommy Simpson combined pieces of scrap wood with found objects to create whimsical sculptures. His great-aunt Florence taught him to paint and encouraged him to study painting at Northern Illinois University. While pursuing his MFA in the subject at Cranbrook Academy of Art, Simpson turned to furniture as both a subject matter and a three-dimensional canvas, but never studied the craft formally. He often uses more than one type of wood in each piece of furniture, because he believes that different woods can engage viewers in a multitude of ways. Today, Simpson thinks of himself as a painter of furniture, and calls himself an "imaginist." (Pamela Koob, Tommy Simpson, 1993)