Thomas Moser was born in 1935, the second of two boys, to Josef and Sabina Moser, European immigrants, in Chicago, Illinois. Orphaned at eighteen, Tom dropped out of high school and joined the Air Force which sent him to Greenland where there “was nothing worth guarding and no one to guard against.” Discharged into upstate New York, Tom, through his veteran status wrangled himself entry to the State University of New York at Geneseo, married his high school sweetheart Mary Wilson, and continued his education at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and obtained a PhD. He came to Maine to teach at the University of Maine in Orono and a year later transferred to Bates College in Lewiston, Maine as professor of rhetoric. Throughout his life Tom Moser had always been making things out of wood and after fifteen years decided to leave academia to devote himself to his true passion, woodworking. That was 44 years ago and the story of those years, the birth and growth of Thos. Moser Cabinetmakers, is told through this exhibition.
As I approach my 80th year people often ask, “Why are you still working?” It’s not really working. It’s more like breathing or eating — it’s what I do. There is truth in the aphorism ‘If you enjoy what you do you never work a day in your life.’ As I write this I’m building an edition of twelve six-foot sculptures of the US flag out of cherry, maple and walnut, designing a storage Ottoman inspired by a cartoon in the New Yorker and prototyping two chairs using flexible sprung steel to connect the lower to the upper unit. Do I do this for the money? For the publicity these things engender? Does the world really need another flexible wooden chair? No, no and no but it’s what gets me up in the morning. Remember, all meaning ultimately is invented.
We mounted this exhibit with two objectives: 1) share with others the joy we have known in crafting furnishings that will surely outlive all of us, and 2) offer to the student of craft a role model which demonstrates that our national system of enterprise is alive and well, and we all have the freedom to become all that we are capable of being.