George Nakashima

modernism george nakashima

George Nakashima (1905-1990) A leader of the American Crafts Movement of the 60s and 70s, George Nakashima was a master woodworker who designed and produced furniture that combined modern forms with traditional values. He graduating from M.I.T. in 1930 and was employed by Antonin Raymond, then forcibly interned during WW2 because of his Japanese heritage. He eventually relocated in Bucks County PA, where he established a workshop that remains in business under the guidance of his daughter Mira.  Over the course of several decades he translated his design ideas and philosophy into forms that were both old in their inspiration and new in their iteration. Heavily influenced by historic Japanese craftsmanship and practices, Nakashima wrote a book titled The Soul of A Tree (1981) describing his experiences and relationship with wood. Nakashima Studios grew and thrived as his custom pieces became sought after by collectors and institutions. Machine-made pieces were offered by both Knoll and Widdicomb over the years, but a true Nakashima piece was handmade in theStudio, often customized to the individual client's needs by Nakashima himself. In 1983, he designed the impressive “Altar of Peace” installed in the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City. At present genuine Nakashima pieces are highly sought after, with his most important works consistently selling for over $100,000 at auction.   

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United States

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