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A tree is our most intimate contact with nature.
– George Nakashima, American, 1905-1990


George Nakashima is recognized today as one the most important American furniture designer-makers. His unique approach to using richly grained, solid wood, celebrates the imperfections of the living material, changing woodworking forever. Born in Spokane, Washington in 1905, Nakashima deliberated until his thirties before leaving architecture and venturing into furniture. He studied architecture at MIT before embarking on an around the world tour of discovery for seven years during the Depression. He studied and worked in Paris, Tokyo, and Pondicherry, India. While in Japan, Nakashima worked with Antonin Raymond, formerly employed by Frank Lloyd Wright. He began making furniture while working on the first reinforced concrete structure in India.
The Nakashima family was imprisoned at an internment camp in Idaho in 1942. There he studied with master carpenter Gentaro Hikogawa. Raymond arranged for George, his wife and daughter to leave the camp in 1943 without their relatives. Nakashima established his home and workshop in New Hope, PA, where it continues today under the direction of his daughter, Mira Nakashima.


Leilani Norman

Author Leilani Norman

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