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George Nakashima

American, 1905-1990

A master woodworker and M.I.T.-trained architect, George Nakashima was the leading light of the American Studio furniture movement. Along with Wharton Esherick, Sam Maloof and Wendell Castle, Nakashima was an artisan who disdained industrial methods and materials in favor of a personal, craft-based approach to the design. What sets Nakashima apart is the poetic style of his work, his reverence for wood and the belief that his furniture could evince — as he put it in the title of his 1981 memoir — The Soul of a Tree.

Born in Spokane, Washington, to Japanese immigrants, Nakashima traveled widely after college, working and studying in Paris, Japan and India, and at every stop he absorbed both modernist and traditional design influences. The turning point in Nakashima’s career development came in the United States in 1942, when he was placed in an internment camp for Asian-Americans in Idaho. There, Nakashima met a master woodcarver who tutored him in Japanese crafting techniques. A former employer won Nakashima’s release and brought him to bucolic New Hope, Pennsylvania, where Nakashima set up a studio and worked for the rest of his life.

Nakashima’s singular aesthetic is best captured in his custom-made tables and benches — pieces that show off the grain, burls and whorls in a plank of wood. He left the “free edge,” or natural contour, of the slab un-planed, and reinforced fissures in the wood with “butterfly” joints. Almost all Nakashima seating pieces have smooth, milled edges. Nakashima also contracted with large-scale manufacturers to produce carefully supervised editions of his designs. Knoll has offered his Straight chair — a modern take on the spindle-backed Windsor chair — since 1946; the now-defunct firm Widdicomb-Mueller issued the Shaker-inspired Origins collection in the 1950s.

Nelson Rockefeller in 1973 gave Nakashima his single largest commission: a 200-piece suite for his suburban New York estate. Today, Nakashima furniture is collected by both the staid and the fashionable: his work sits in the collections of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Smithsonian Institution, as well as in the homes of Steven Spielberg, Brad Pitt, Diane von Furstenberg and the late Steve Jobs.

Average Sold Price
$11,380
Styles
Materials
Iconic Designs from George Nakashima
Explore timeless pieces that have earned their place in history.
Mira Chair
Mira Chair
New Chair
New Chair
Captain Chair
Captain Chair
Conoid Chair
Conoid Chair
George Nakashima Sideboard with Sliding Doors in Solid Walnut
By George Nakashima
Located in Waalwijk, NL
George Nakashima, sideboard with sliding doors, walnut, United States, 1956 This stunning sideboard was designed by George Nakashima combining a choice of high-quality material an...
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage George Nakashima

Materials

Walnut

George Nakashima 'Sundra' Sideboard Credenza for Widdicomb, c. 1960, Signed
By Widdicomb Furniture Co., George Nakashima
Located in Los Angeles, CA
This gorgeous model-205 'Sundra' two-door sideboard / credenza by George Nakashima for Widdicomb, circa 1960, features beautiful Walnut, Indian Laurel and Carpathian Elm Burl. Incred...
Category

1960s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage George Nakashima

Materials

Elm, Walnut, Burl

Pair of Nakashima Studio Mira Nakashima Wepman Side Tables in Walnut, USA 2022
By George Nakashima, Mira Nakashima
Located in Berlin, DE
Pair of Nakashima Studio Mira Nakashima wepman side tables in walnut, US 2022. The tables are made in black walnut and signed. Please consider the production lead time of around 18 m...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary American Mid-Century Modern George Nakashima

Materials

Wood, Walnut

Set of 6 Oiled Walnut Spindle Back Dining Chairs by George Nakashima
By George Nakashima
Located in Rockaway, NJ
Set of 6 Oiled Walnut Spindle Back Dining Chairs by George Nakashima
Category

20th Century American Mid-Century Modern George Nakashima

Materials

Walnut

George Nakashima grass seated walnut dining chairs, American craft, USA, 1960
By George Nakashima
Located in Antwerp, BE
American craft, Grass Seated Walnut Dining Chairs by George Nakashima, USA, the 1960s George Nakashima designed these unique dining chairs in the 1960s. Characterized by its grass c...
Category

1660s American American Craftsman Antique George Nakashima

Materials

Rope, Walnut

George Nakashima Dining Armchair for Widdicomb
By Widdicomb Furniture Co., George Nakashima
Located in Los Angeles, CA
Black walnut dining armchair by George Nakashima for Grand Rapids, Michigan-based company Widdicomb, c.1960s for their "Origins" collection. This rare dining chair, is one of the few...
Category

1960s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage George Nakashima

Materials

Upholstery, Walnut

  • George Nakashima Dining Armchair for Widdicomb
  • George Nakashima Dining Armchair for Widdicomb
  • George Nakashima Dining Armchair for Widdicomb
  • George Nakashima Dining Armchair for Widdicomb
H 38.5 in. W 25.25 in. D 26 in.
George Nakashima for Widdicomb Walnut Dining Table
By Widdicomb Furniture Co., George Nakashima
Located in Los Angeles, CA
Walnut dining table by George Nakashima for Grand Rapids, Michigan-based company Widdicomb, c.1960s for their "Origins" collection. The table features a round top situated on a pedes...
Category

1960s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage George Nakashima

Materials

Walnut

Pair of George Nakashima Ottomans
By George Nakashima
Located in Providence, RI
Pair of George Nakashima ottomas, circa 1958. These have just been professionally re-upholstered in 100% organic cotton canvas. If you look closely at the photos, you'll see that the...
Category

Mid-20th Century American Mid-Century Modern George Nakashima

Materials

Canvas, Walnut

  • Pair of George Nakashima Ottomans
  • Pair of George Nakashima Ottomans
  • Pair of George Nakashima Ottomans
  • Pair of George Nakashima Ottomans
H 14.75 in. W 24 in. D 19.75 in.
Browse all Furniture from George Nakashima
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George Nakashima Sellers

More George Nakashima Designs
Grass-Seated Chair
Grass-Seated Chair
Average Price
$32,500
Number Available
1
Grass-Seated Chair
By George Nakashima
Materials
Fabric, Grasscloth, Walnut, Wood
Styles
Mid Century Modern
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George Nakashima furniture for sale on 1stDibs

The furniture of George Nakashima are available for sale on 1stDibs. These distinctive objects are often made of wood and designed with extraordinary care. In our collection of George Nakashima furniture, there are many options to choose from, although brown editions of this piece are particularly popular. 96 vintage editions of these items are in stock, while there are 14 modern editions to choose from as well. Many original furniture by George Nakashima were created in North America during the 20th century in the Mid-Century Modern style. Many customers also consider furniture by Philip and Kelvin LaVerne, Craft Associates and Warren Platner if you’re looking for additional options. The prices for George Nakashima furniture can vary depending on size, time period and other attributes. Price for these items starts at $1,800 and tops out at $180,000, while pieces like these can sell for $19,750 on average.

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