One of the first masters of western interior design and furniture, Thomas Molesworth, became widely recognized when he was commissioned to design the interior of the Annenberg Lodge in Beulah, WY.
Moses Annenberg of Philadelphia had purchased the lodge in 1927 with plans to create a fishing and hunting retreat for his family and friends. Annenberg hired local craftsmen to construct several log structures on the 600-acre parcel. Using old-world techniques the craftsmen built a main lodge (the showpiece of the property), a caretaker’s residence, barn, several guest cabins and 10 miles of fence encircling the grounds.
Thomas Molesworth was commissioned to design the interior and furniture of the lodge and other buildings. Molesworth built 245 pieces of furniture for the Annenberg Lodge, from burl wood lamps with rawhide shades, to iron sconces hung from deer antlers. He crafted custom iron fireplace screens, a 20 ft. dining table and custom carved high backed chairs with burl wood arms. The main room of the lodge featured Molesworth’s upholstered fabric and leather furniture along with his traditional use of Navajo rugs, sand paintings and original western art. The Annenberg Lodge was a masterful creation of well-crafted furniture that blended the architecture of the lodge to its interior design.
Molesworth went on to create furniture for prominent Americans in the 20th century including the Rockefeller Ranch and Dwight D. Eisenhower’s home in Gettysburg, PA.
Molesworth pieces gained significant popularity after the 1989 exhibition Interior West: The Craft and Style of Thomas Molesworth at the Buffalo Bill Historical Center in Cody, WY and tin 1990 at the Autry National Center in Los Angeles.
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