Michael Puryear is an internationally recognized designer/furniture maker. He is self-taught learning his craft through reading and experimentation and has been practicing his craft for more than 45 years. His work has been exhibited in Museums and galleries around the country such as the Museum of Art & Design in NYC; Mint Museum in Charlotte, NC, the Peabody-Essex Museum in Salem MA. His work has been published widely, Including Makers: A History of American Studio Craft published by the University of North Carolina Press and Furniture With Soul: Master Wood workers and their Craft by David Savage published by Kodansha International. His work is in the collections of: the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, Rockefeller University, the Newark Museum and the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.
He is a graduate of Howard University in Washington, DC with a degree in anthropology. He has traveled extensively, in Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia and North and South America as well as several trips to the arctic. His travels reflect his interest in the natural world as well as that of other cultural traditions.
He has taught extensively at many of the craft schools in the US a well as Parson School of Design and was an adjunct associate professor at the State University of New York at Purchase for 13 years.
He is a former trustee of the Furniture Society and in 2023 he received the Furniture Society’s Award of Distinction and was elected to the American Craft Council’s College of Fellows.
He maintains his studio in the Catskill Mountains of NY.