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George Nakashima Furniture

George Nakashima (USA, 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 Stephen Spielberg, Brad Pitt, Diane von Furstenberg and the late Steve Jobs.

Iconic Designs from George Nakashima
Explore timeless pieces that have earned their place in history.
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Creator:George Nakashima
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Pair of Mira Barstools by George Nakashima
By George Nakashima
Located in Dallas, TX
Pair of walnut "Mira" counter height stools by George Nakashima. This listing is for two stools.
Category

1950s Vintage George Nakashima Furniture

Materials

Walnut

Pair of Conoid Lounge Chairs by George Nakashima
By George Nakashima
Located in Dallas, TX
Category

1990s George Nakashima Furniture

Materials

Walnut

George Nakashima Bench, 1976
By George Nakashima
Located in Dallas, TX
Category

1970s Vintage George Nakashima Furniture

Materials

Walnut

George Nakashima Frenchman's Cove Console / Dining Table, 1967
By George Nakashima
Located in Dallas, TX
Category

1960s Vintage George Nakashima Furniture

Materials

Walnut

George Nakashima Chest of Drawers in Cherry
By George Nakashima
Located in Dallas, TX
Category

1960s Vintage George Nakashima Furniture

Materials

Cherry

George Nakashima Sliding Door Cabinet in Cherry, 1963
By George Nakashima
Located in Dallas, TX
Category

1960s Vintage George Nakashima Furniture

Materials

Cherry

George Nakashima Nightstand in Cherry, 1963
By George Nakashima
Located in Dallas, TX
Category

1960s Vintage George Nakashima Furniture

Materials

Cherry

George Nakashima Walnut Settee, 1961
By George Nakashima
Located in Dallas, TX
Category

1960s Vintage George Nakashima Furniture

Materials

Walnut

Set of Eight "New" Chairs by George Nakashima
By George Nakashima
Located in Dallas, TX
Category

1950s Vintage George Nakashima Furniture

Materials

Cherry

George Nakashima Coffee Table, 1980
By George Nakashima
Located in Dallas, TX
Category

1980s Vintage George Nakashima Furniture

Dining Table by George Nakashima, 1952
By George Nakashima
Located in Dallas, TX
Category

1950s Vintage George Nakashima Furniture

Materials

Walnut

George Nakashima Slab Wall Shelf
By George Nakashima
Located in Dallas, TX
Category

1960s Vintage George Nakashima Furniture

Related Items
Pair of Conoid Lounge Chairs by George Nakashima
By George Nakashima
Located in Dallas, TX
Category

1990s George Nakashima Furniture

Materials

Walnut

Set of Eight "New" Chairs by George Nakashima
By George Nakashima
Located in Dallas, TX
Category

1950s Vintage George Nakashima Furniture

Materials

Cherry

Dining Table by George Nakashima, 1952
By George Nakashima
Located in Dallas, TX
Category

1950s Vintage George Nakashima Furniture

Materials

Walnut

George Nakashima Bench, 1976
By George Nakashima
Located in Dallas, TX
Category

1970s Vintage George Nakashima Furniture

Materials

Walnut

George Nakashima Chest of Drawers in Cherry
By George Nakashima
Located in Dallas, TX
Category

1960s Vintage George Nakashima Furniture

Materials

Cherry

Forged Steel Barstools Designed by John Baldasare
Located in Dallas, TX
Category

Late 20th Century George Nakashima Furniture

George Nakashima Walnut Settee, 1961
By George Nakashima
Located in Dallas, TX
Category

1960s Vintage George Nakashima Furniture

Materials

Walnut

George Nakashima Slab Wall Shelf
By George Nakashima
Located in Dallas, TX
Category

1960s Vintage George Nakashima Furniture

George Nakashima Coffee Table, 1980
By George Nakashima
Located in Dallas, TX
Category

1980s Vintage George Nakashima Furniture

George Nakashima Nightstand in Cherry, 1963
By George Nakashima
Located in Dallas, TX
Category

1960s Vintage George Nakashima Furniture

Materials

Cherry

George Nakashima Sliding Door Cabinet in Cherry, 1963
By George Nakashima
Located in Dallas, TX
Category

1960s Vintage George Nakashima Furniture

Materials

Cherry

George Nakashima Frenchman's Cove Console / Dining Table, 1967
By George Nakashima
Located in Dallas, TX
Category

1960s Vintage George Nakashima Furniture

Materials

Walnut

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