Georgia’s importance as a center for wood-turned bowls is largely due to the contributions of three generations of the Atlanta-based Moulthrop family. Turning of the Seasons: The Moulthrop Family and the Chattahoochee River Dams Project will present a selection of works by Ed, Philip, and Matt Moulthrop, including turned bowls that Philip and Matt recently completed using wood salvaged from the old 19th – century Chattahoochee River dams. The exhibition also offers a look at the history of the Chattahoochee River dams that were so vital to the textile mills in Columbus. The Moulthrop family’s outstanding wood-turned bowls, made from wood indigenous to the Southeast, have received national recognition for their beauty and high craftsmanship. “The father of modern wood turning,” Ed Moulthrop (1916- 2003), was a prominent Atlanta architect whose designs include the Atlanta Civic Center, the Callaway Memorial Chapel at Callaway Gardens, and the Van Leer Electrical Engineering building at Georgia Institute of Technology.
Self-taught, Moulthrop invented many of the tools he used to create his bowls, which were prized for their large size and highly-polished surfaces. Several of his tools will be featured in the exhibition, along with bowls in various states of production. Philip Moulthrop (b. 1947), who learned the art of wood turning from his father, has made a significant contribution to the craft with his mosaic bowl technique. For these works, he uses glue and epoxies to adhere thinner branches from a tree onto a turned bowl, then turns the bowl once again on the lathe with the result that the patterns of the wood branches appear to float against a dark background. The family’s tradition in wood turning continues with Matt Moulthrop (b. 1977), who began turning wood bowls as a child and today is a noted wood turner.
Historic artifacts and images related to the Eagle & Phenix Dam will also be spotlighted. Columbus’ status as a mill town began the year it was founded, and the Eagle & Phenix Manufacturing Company became one of the best-known of the city’s mills. Companies constructed wood and stone dams to harness the raw power of the Chattahoochee River, and many remained until they were removed in 2012 to make way for river restoration and whitewater rafting. Philip and Matt Moulthrop used wood salvaged from the 1869 Eagle & Phenix Dam to create a limited series of wood-turned bowls
Exhibition overview from museum website