With You in a Moment

Copied Thomas Loeser, With You in a Moment, 2016, honey locust, ash, shovel and lawn mower handles, 120 × 35 × 21 in. (304.8 × 88.9 × 53.3 cm), Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of the artist, 2021.58

Artwork Details

With You in a Moment
120 × 35 × 21 in. (304.8 × 88.9 × 53.3 cm)
Credit Line
Gift of the artist
Mediums Description
honey locust, ash, shovel and lawn mower handles
  • Object — furniture
Object Number

Artwork Description

“If the furniture we sit on every day were totally different, would our lives be different, too?” wonders furniture maker Tom Loeser.

The natural edge of this honey locust timber slab pays homage to George Nakashima’s original conoid bench, a design first introduced in 1960. When the artist, Tom Loeser, was young, he sat down on a conoid bench by Nakashima at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, and that’s when he realized the power of furniture.

Loeser has added a row of discarded shovel handles to form the back. Every spring in Madison, Wisconsin—where Loeser lives—people throw out their broken shovels, a sign as sure as spring blossoms that another harsh winter has passed. Loeser collected these tools and repurposed them. While shoveling snow can cause backpain, now these handles lend their support.

This Present Moment: Crafting a Better World, 2022


Quilt featuring the portrait of a woman
This Present Moment: Crafting a Better World
May 13, 2022April 2, 2023
This Present Moment: Crafting a Better World showcases the dynamic landscape of American craft today.