The 2019 Bob Stocksdale International Excellence in Wood Award: Humaira Abid | Thurs, July 23, 2020 | 6:30 pm | Virtual Lecture Co-hosted by Winterthur Museum

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Join us to celebrate the fourth year of the Bob Stocksdale International Excellence in Wood Award. Supported by an anonymous donor, this award is presented annually to an emerging or mid-career artist whose work unites quality of craftsmanship and respect for material, for which renowned master woodturner Bob Stocksdale (1913–2003) is known. The 2019 recipient for the Bob Stocksdale International Excellence in Wood Award is Humaira Abid of Seattle, WA.

In commemoration of the 2019 Stocksdale Award, Emily Whitted, a current Lois F. McNeil Fellow in the Winterthur Program in American Material Culture, will present a lecture on Abid and renowned master woodturner Bob Stocksdale (1913–2003). Whitted, whose research interest includes the intersections of craft, gender, and social justice, will discuss Abid’s work in the context of the values embodied by Stocksdale, among them his quality of craftsmanship, respect for materials, and artistic innovation in the material of wood, as well as his commitment to pacifism.

Image captions clockwise: Humaira Abid, Borders and Boundaries (detail), 2017. Barbed wire: Mahogany wood, carved. The World is Beautiful, and Dangerous Too (detail), 2017. Shoes: Pine wood carved; red wood stain. Composite image by the artist sourced from two photographs taken following anti-Muslim riots in Myanmar. AFP, March 29, 2013. The World Is NOT Perfect (detail), 2014-17. Pine, mahogany, and tulip wood, carved; red wood stain, wire, epoxy putty, paint. Photo: John Carlano. From Fragments of Home Left Behind II, 2019-20. Pine wood, carved; wood stain, gouache, pigments on handmade wasli paper, Plexiglas. Searching for Home (detail) and Leila, 2016-17. Pine wood, carved; red wood stain.  Photo: Adeel Ahmed


The Bob Stocksdale International Excellence in Wood Award was launched by the Center for Art inWood in 2016 to honor Stocksdales’s legacy while linking his work with a new generation of artists and makers who work in the material of wood. It is awarded to a selected artist, emerging or established, whose work embodies reverence for materials and dedication to craftsmanship-values that resonate throughout Bob’s body of work.

The artist is granted a prize of $1,000. Another $500 is allocated for documentation to an honorarium to be given to a research fellow, who delivers a lecture at a program organized by the Center in partnership with Winterthur Museum and its Research Fellowship Program in American Material Culture. This lecture will examine the laureate’s work in the context of the values and characteristics inherent in Bob’s body of work. The inaugural award recipient was Jakob Weissflog; the 2017 winner was Dean Pulver; and the 2018 laureate was Ben Strear.


Beginning in 2019, the Stocksdale Award is adjudicated by a committee. The esteemed members of this committee are:

Christine Knoke, Deputy Director of the Mingei Museum; Michael Monroe, Director Emeritus of Bellevue Arts Museum and the Renwick Gallery, Smithsonian American Art Museum; Michael Puryear, artist, woodworker, and furniture maker; Kevin Wallace, Executive Director of the Beatrice Wood Foundation; and Jennifer-Navva Milliken, Artistic Director of the Center for Art in Wood.



Humaira Abid by Steven Miller

Humaira Abid was born and raised in Lahore, Pakistan. She immigrated to the United States in 2008, and now lives and works in Seattle, WA. 

 Abid received her BFA in sculpture and miniature painting from the National College of Arts, Lahore, in 2000. She has exhibited in galleries and museums worldwide. Her work has been published in books and other print media and she has been the recipient of prestigious awards and grants. She has lectured widely and participated in residencies and symposia around the world. 

Abid works in the disciplines of woodcarving and traditional Mughal miniature painting. Through her depictions of objects and figures, Abid articulates themes that are often provocative and challenging, amplified by her manipulation of heritage practices and the materiality of wood. Her carved and painted works, known for their virtuosity and exquisite detail, have been exhibited in museums and galleries and documented in publications around the world.

Humaira Abid’s work is currently on view in the exhibition Humaira Abid: Searching for Home, continuing at the Center through October 3, 2020. 


emily portrait

Emily Whitted is a Lois F. McNeil Fellow in the Winterthur Program in American Material Culture. She received her BA from the University of Richmond in 2016. Her research interests include historic textiles, contemporary Appalachian craft, and the intersections of craft, gender, and social justice. Emily’s thesis “The American-Made Stocking” investigates the eighteenth-century knit stocking industry in Germantown, Pennsylvania. Having completed her Master’s degree in American Material Culture in May 2020, Emily plans to begin studying for her Ph.D. at the University of Massachusetts Amherst in the fall.





Image: Paul J. Smith, Bob Stocksdale (1913 – 2003) at his studio, Berkeley, CA, ca. 1985, Inkjet print. The Center for Art in Wood Museum Collection, Donated by the Artist. 2016.

Bob Stocksdale (1913–2003) was an internationally renowned pioneer of contemporary wood turning. Known for his striking lathe-turned bowls, formed from exotic woods, Stocksdale is credited with sparking the revitalization of the craft of wood turning and its growing significance as an art form. His signature work comprised smooth, elegant bowl forms that emphasized the natural color and distinctive grain pattern of the wood.

Stocksdale grew up on his family’s farm in Warren, Indiana. He began working with wood as a teenager repairing furniture and taught himself how to turn on the lathe. Drafted into the US Army in 1942, Stocksdale claimed Conscientious Objector status and spent the duration of WWII in Civilian Public Service camps. It was in such a camp where he turned his first bowl.

Following the war, Stocksdale moved to Berkeley, CA, and became an early member of the Arts and Crafts Cooperative, Inc. (ACCI), a cooperative gallery showing work by designer-craftspeople. He was married to the noted weaver and fiber artist, Kay Sekimachi.

 Bob Stocksdale’s awards and acknowledgements were many. He was inducted as a Fellow of the American Crafts Council; made an Honorary Lifetime Member of the American Association of Wood Turners (AAW); honored as a California Living Treasure; and recognized as a Master of the Medium Award by the James Renwick Alliance. His work is held in the permanent collections of many notable institutions, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; the Museum of Arts and Design, New York; the Contemporary Museum of Art, Honolulu; and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; and the Center for Art in Wood.