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George Nakashima Benches

American, 1905-1990
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.

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Creator: George Nakashima
Mid-Century Modern Nakashima Style Organic Wooden Bench/Table with Two Stools
By George Nakashima
Located in Stamford, CT
Mid-Century Modern Nakashima style organic wooden bench/table with two stools Table: Height: 19.75 in. Width: 47 in. Depth: 23 in. Stools: Height: 14.5 in. Diameter: 12.5 in.
Category

1970s Vintage George Nakashima Benches

Materials

Wood

George Nakashima Free Edge Walnut Bench with Back, 1976
By George Nakashima
Located in Santa Fe, NM
A lovely example of the elegance of the work of George Nakashima. This walnut bench has a sapwood free edge slab seat with hickory spindles. This piece is accompanied by the original...
Category

1970s North American Organic Modern Vintage George Nakashima Benches

Materials

Hickory, Walnut

George Nakashima Studio Conoid Bench in Walnut, US 2021
By George Nakashima, Mira Nakashima
Located in Berlin, DE
George Nakashima Studio Conoid bench in walnut, US 2021. The Bench is made in black walnut with hickory spindles and is signed.  
Category

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

Materials

Wood, Walnut

George Nakashima Conoid Bench, 1965
By George Nakashima
Located in Paris, FR
A free edge "Conoid" bench by the American-Japanese designer George Nakashima (1905-1990), in American walnut and hickory, 1965.
Category

1960s American American Craftsman Vintage George Nakashima Benches

Materials

Hickory, Walnut

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Previously Available Items
George Nakashima Conoid Bench, 1965
By George Nakashima
Located in Paris, FR
A free edge "Conoid" bench by the American-Japanese designer George Nakashima (1905-1990), in American walnut and hickory, 1965.
Category

1960s American American Craftsman Vintage George Nakashima Benches

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  • George Nakashima Conoid Bench, 1965
  • George Nakashima Conoid Bench, 1965
  • George Nakashima Conoid Bench, 1965
  • George Nakashima Conoid Bench, 1965
H 34.26 in. W 88.59 in. D 27.56 in.
George Nakashima Custom Daybed, 1950s
By George Nakashima
Located in New York, NY
Custom size, extra long daybed by New Hope studio artist George Nakashima, circa 1950s. Frame is in Black American walnut, retaining its original webbing, with newly made cushion in...
Category

1950s American American Craftsman Vintage George Nakashima Benches

Materials

Upholstery, Walnut

  • George Nakashima Custom Daybed, 1950s
  • George Nakashima Custom Daybed, 1950s
  • George Nakashima Custom Daybed, 1950s
  • George Nakashima Custom Daybed, 1950s
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George Nakashima Conoid Bench
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A great example of George Nakashima's conoid bench. Free-form sculpted edges with great colorful grain.
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1970s American Vintage George Nakashima Benches

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Walnut, Hickory

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  • George Nakashima Conoid Bench
  • George Nakashima Conoid Bench
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George Nakashima Conoid Bench, 1983
By George Nakashima
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1980s American American Craftsman Vintage George Nakashima Benches

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George Nakashima American Black Walnut Turned Leg Slab Bench, USA, 1960s
By George Nakashima
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Category

1960s American American Craftsman Vintage George Nakashima Benches

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George Nakashima 'Conoid' Bench
By George Nakashima
Located in Los Angeles, CA
George Nakashima Conoid bench, New Hope, PA, 1983 (bench comes with copy of original purchase invoice).  
Category

1980s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage George Nakashima Benches

Materials

Hickory, Walnut

  • George Nakashima 'Conoid' Bench
  • George Nakashima 'Conoid' Bench
  • George Nakashima 'Conoid' Bench
  • George Nakashima 'Conoid' Bench
H 32.25 in. W 89.5 in. D 32 in.
George Nakashima Bench, 1976
By George Nakashima
Located in Dallas, TX
A walnut bench by George Nakashima signed and dated 1976. Sold with full documentation.
Category

1970s Vintage George Nakashima Benches

Materials

Walnut

  • George Nakashima Bench, 1976
  • George Nakashima Bench, 1976
  • George Nakashima Bench, 1976
  • George Nakashima Bench, 1976
H 33.25 in. W 72.5 in. D 33 in.
George Nakashima Walnut Spindle Back Bench, USA, 1960s
By George Nakashima
Located in New York, NY
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George Nakashima Coffee Table, 1980
By George Nakashima
Located in Dallas, TX
Walnut coffee table or bench by George Nakashima, 1980.
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  • George Nakashima Coffee Table, 1980
  • George Nakashima Coffee Table, 1980
  • George Nakashima Coffee Table, 1980
H 13.75 in. W 72.5 in. D 24.5 in.
1960s Brown Walnut Veneer Coffee Table by George Nakashima
By Paul Evans, George Nakashima, Widdicomb Furniture Co.
Located in Frankfurt, Hessen, DE
Coffee table, walnut veneer, George Nakashima, USA, 1960. The handcrafted coffee table comes with a walnut veneer top and is supported by four tapered dowel legs. The table is des...
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George Nakashima Bench or Coffee Table in Walnut
By George Nakashima
Located in Dallas, TX
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Conoid Bench by George Nakashima
By George Nakashima
Located in Pawtucket, RI
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Category

1970s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage George Nakashima Benches

  • Conoid Bench by George Nakashima
  • Conoid Bench by George Nakashima
  • Conoid Bench by George Nakashima
  • Conoid Bench by George Nakashima
H 31 in. W 85 in. D 31 in.

George Nakashima benches for sale on 1stDibs

The George Nakashima benches 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 benches, there are many options to choose from, although brown editions of this piece are particularly popular. We have 2 vintage editions of these items in stock, while there is also a modern edition to choose from. Many of the original benches by George Nakashima were created in the mid-20th century modern style in the United States.. If you are looking for additional options, many customers also consider benches by Ray Eames, Charles and Paul Evans and Drexel. Prices for George Nakashima benches can differ depending upon size, time period and other attributes. The price for these items starts at $25,000 and tops out at $80,937, while pieces like these can sell for $34,571 on average.

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