Michael Tom

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Man: b. 1910-d. 1969/Woman: b. 1914-d. 1974 by Michael Tom

Michael Tom (1946–1999) was an American sculptor born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii. He received a bachelor of fine art degree in painting and metalsmithing from Sonoma State University in Rohnert Park, California, and pursued graduate studies at San Diego State University. He started his artistic career as a painter, but was then drawn to making art jewelry. Art jewelry led to metalsmithing, which in turn led to metal and mixed media sculpture.

In 1992, Tom received the Catharine E. B. Cox Award for Excellence in the Visual Arts. He is best known for his small sculptures of hammered copper. Death is a pervasive theme in his work (Clark, 1996), and Tom died of liver cancer in Honolulu on April 12, 1999.

Some of his sculptures are anthropomorphic, referencing birth, war, and death.[1] Man: b. 1910-d. 1969/Woman: b. 1914-d. 1974, in the collection of the Hawaii State Art Museum is an example of this phase of the artist's work. The East-West Center, the Hawaii State Art Museum, and the Honolulu Museum of Art and they are among the public collections holding sculptures by Michael Tom.


  1. ^ Hawaii State Art Museum, wall label for Man: b. 1910-d. 1969/Woman: b. 1914-d. 1974
  • Clarke, Joan and Diane Dods, Artists/Hawaii, Honolulu, University of Hawaii Press, 1996, 110-115.
  • Contemporary Museum, Honolulu, The Contemporary Museum Biennial of Hawaii Artists IV, Contemporary Museum, Honolulu, 1999, pp. 19–21.
  • East-West Center, East-West Treasures, Selected Works from the Permanent Collection, East-West Center, Honolulu, 2010, p. 8.
  • Yoshihara, Lisa A., Collective Visions, 1967-1997, An Exhibition Celebrating the 30th Anniversary of the State Foundation on Culture and the Arts, Art in Public Places Program, Presented at the Honolulu Museum of Art, September 3-October 12, 1997, Honolulu, State Foundation on Culture and the Arts, 1997, p. 59.