Rosanne Somerson is a woodworker, furniture designer, maker, educator and current President of Rhode Island School of Design. Long known as a leader in the studio furniture field, Rosanne Somerson has also earned a growing reputation as an agile, adept and visionary leader in art and design education.
A consummate designer, Somerson maintains her design studio in Fall River, MA, where she designs and makes furniture on commission and furthers her own creative practice. Her work is featured in numerous books and publications, and has been exhibited throughout the US and internationally, including at the Louvre in Paris. Somerson’s furniture is represented in private, corporate and museum collections, most notably at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Fuller Craft Museum, the Huntsville [AL] Museum of Art, the RISD Museum, the Smith College Museum of Art, Yale University Art Gallery and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
An eloquent writer, thought leader and presenter, Somerson is frequently invited to speak at museums, conferences, corporations and colleges around the world. She has served on numerous panels and juries, and appeared in several television segments and videos, including an interview with her in the Smithsonian’s Archives of American Art. Throughout her careers, she has earned recognition for her work as a designer, artist and teacher, including two fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the James Renwick Alliance’s Distinguished Crafts Educator Award.