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George Nakashima papers

Creator:
Nakashima, George, 1905-1990  Search this
Names:
Caldwell, Alfred, 1903-1998  Search this
Extent:
1 Linear Feet
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Date:
1950-1991
Summary:
The papers of architect, craftsman, woodworker, and furniture designer George Nakashima measure 1.0 linear foot and date from 1950 to 1991. The collection is comprised of biographical material, correspondence, writings, subject files, and printed material that mostly relate to Nakashima's work in furniture design.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of architect, craftsman, woodworker, and furniture designer George Nakashima measure 1.0 linear foot and date from 1950 to 1991. The collection is comprised of biographical material, correspondence, writings, subject files, and printed material that mostly relate to Nakashima's work in furniture design.

Biographical materials consist of a curriculum vitae and obituaries. Correspondence is with clients, colleagues, and friends in the United Staes, Japan, and the Sri Aurobindo community. Writings by and about Nakashima include articles, essays, and a speech about his design processes. Subject files are on Alfred Caldwell, flush toilet systems, trademark, and wood and tree services. Printed material includes art reproductions, booklets, catalogs, clippings, and publicity material.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as five series.

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1990 (Box 1; 1 folder)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1950-1990 (Box 1; 0.7 linear feet)

Series 3: Writings, 1953-1989 (Box 1, 2 folders)

Series 4: Subject Files, 1957-1980s (Box 1, 4 folders)

Series 5: Printed Material, 1954-1991 (Box 1, 0.2 linear feet)
Biographical / Historical:
George Nakashima (1905-1990) was an architect, craftsman, woodworker, and furniture designer in New Hope, Pennsylvania. He was born in Spokane, Washington and received a bachelor's degree in architecture from the University of Washington in 1929. He also earned a master's degree from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1930.

After his studies, Nakashima traveled around the world by steamship. He spent time in France, North Africa, and Japan. While in Japan, he began working under architect Antonin Raymond. When Raymond's architecture company was commissioned to build for the Sri Aurobindo ashram in Puducherry, India, Nakashima became the onsite architect as well as a devotee of Sri Aurobindo. When World War II began, Nakashima returned to the U.S. with his wife, Marion, whom he met in Japan. George, Marion, and their infant daughter Mira were sent to a Japanese internment camp in Idaho in 1942. The Nakashimas were able to leave the camp after Raymond sponsored their release in 1943. Nakashima began working on Raymond's farm in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, where he eventually built his workshop. Nakashima's son Kevin was born after the family relocated to Pennsylvania.

Nakashima's design work includes furniture lines for the Widdicomb Furniture Company and Knoll Furniture, and 200 pieces of furniture commissioned by Nelson Rockefeller. He also wrote a book titled The Soul of a Tree: A Master Woodworker's Reflections.

Nakashima died in 1990.
Provenance:
The papers were donated by Marion Nakashima, widow of George Nakashima, in 1991.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center.
Topic:
Architect-designed furniture  Search this
Artisans  Search this
Asian American artists  Search this
Asian American architects  Search this
Decorative arts  Search this
Furniture designers--Pennsylvania--New Hope  Search this
Furniture making  Search this
handicrafts  Search this
Woodworkers  Search this
Citation:
George Nakashima papers, 1950-1991. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.nakageor
See more items in:
George Nakashima papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-nakageor

Marshall Reisman papers concerning George Nakashima

Creator:
Reisman, Marshall, 1914-2009  Search this
Names:
Nakashima, George, 1905-1990  Search this
Extent:
0.2 Linear Feet
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Photographs
Sketches
Date:
1959-2010
bulk 1972-1989
Summary:
The Marshall Reisman papers concerning George Nakashima are dated 1959-2010, bulk 1972-1989, and comprise 0.2 linear feet. The papers include letters, correspondence, annotated sketches, photographs, financial records, and printed material related to commissioned works by woodworker and sculptor George Nakashima for art collector Marshall Reisman.
Scope and Contents note:
The Marshall Reisman papers concerning George Nakashima are dated 1959-2010, bulk 1972-1989, and comprise 0.2 linear feet. The papers include correspondence, letters, annotated sketches, receipts, photographs, financial records, and printed material related to commissioned works by woodworker and sculptor George Nakashima for art collector Marshall Reisman.
Arrangement note:
The collection is arranged as 3 series:

Series 1: Annotated Sketches, 1972, 1989 (Box 1; 1 folder)

Series 2: Letters and Related Financial Records, 1959-2001 (Box 1; 5 folders)

Series 3: Printed Material 1962-2010 (Box 1; 2 folders)
Biographical/Historical note:
Marshall Reisman (1914-2009) and his wife Dorothy (1914-2008) were both art collectors from Syracuse, NY. They commissioned furniture and other objects from George Nakashima (1905-1990).
Provenance:
Donated by the Dorothy and Marshall M. Reisman Foundation through Robert Falter, trustee, 2010.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
Rights:
The Marshall Reisman papers concerning George Nakashima are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
Topic:
Collectors and collecting -- New York (State)  Search this
Sculptors  Search this
Art commissions  Search this
Woodworkers  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs
Sketches
Citation:
Marshall Reisman papers concerning George Nakashima, 1959-2010. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.reismars
See more items in:
Marshall Reisman papers concerning George Nakashima
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-reismars

Biographical Material

Collection Creator:
Nakashima, George, 1905-1990  Search this
Extent:
1 folder (Box 1)
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1990
Scope and Contents:
This series contains Nakashima's curriculum vitae, a memorial service bulletin, and photocopies of his obituaries.
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center.
Collection Citation:
George Nakashima papers, 1950-1991. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.nakageor, Series 1
See more items in:
George Nakashima papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-nakageor-ref1

Awards, Regarding

Collection Creator:
Nakashima, George, 1905-1990  Search this
Container:
Box 1, Folder 19
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1982-1985
Scope and Contents:
Includes material on the Order of the Sacred Treasure awarded by the Emperor of Japan and the Altar for Peace.
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center.
Collection Citation:
George Nakashima papers, 1950-1991. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
George Nakashima papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-nakageor-ref13

Caldwell, Alfred

Collection Creator:
Nakashima, George, 1905-1990  Search this
Container:
Box 1, Folder 30
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
circa 1980s
Scope and Contents:
Includes a speech transcript and photocopy of "The Hex of Harmony" by Caldwell.
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center.
Collection Citation:
George Nakashima papers, 1950-1991. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
George Nakashima papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-nakageor-ref21

Trademark

Collection Creator:
Nakashima, George, 1905-1990  Search this
Container:
Box 1, Folder 32
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1957
Scope and Contents:
Includes an engraving copy of a hand drawn logo for Nakashima's business.
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center.
Collection Citation:
George Nakashima papers, 1950-1991. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
George Nakashima papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-nakageor-ref23

Wood and Tree Services

Collection Creator:
Nakashima, George, 1905-1990  Search this
Container:
Box 1, Folder 33
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
circa 1960-1980s
Scope and Contents:
Includes photographs of cut trees, tables, and clocks.
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center.
Collection Citation:
George Nakashima papers, 1950-1991. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
George Nakashima papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-nakageor-ref24

Clippings

Collection Creator:
Nakashima, George, 1905-1990  Search this
Container:
Box 1, Folder 38-39
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1954-1991
Scope and Contents:
Almost all newspaper clippings are photocopies.
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center.
Collection Citation:
George Nakashima papers, 1950-1991. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
George Nakashima papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-nakageor-ref28

Subject Files

Collection Creator:
Nakashima, George, 1905-1990  Search this
Extent:
4 folders (Box 1)
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1957-1980s
Scope and Contents:
This series contains mainly printed materials but also contains some correspondence and photographs in files for architecture professor Alfred Caldwell, flush toilet systems, trademarks, and wood and tree services.
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center.
Collection Citation:
George Nakashima papers, 1950-1991. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.nakageor, Series 4
See more items in:
George Nakashima papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-nakageor-ref4

Printed Material

Collection Creator:
Nakashima, George, 1905-1990  Search this
Extent:
0.2 Linear Feet (Box 1)
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1954-1991
Scope and Contents:
Art reproductions of St. James in Pennington, New Jersey, booklets, catalogs and clippings relating to Nakashima, and publicity material for exhibitions and events are in printed materials.
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center.
Collection Citation:
George Nakashima papers, 1950-1991. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.nakageor, Series 5
See more items in:
George Nakashima papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-nakageor-ref5

Correspondence

Collection Creator:
Nakashima, George, 1905-1990  Search this
Extent:
0.7 Linear Feet (Box 1)
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1950-1991
Scope and Contents:
This series consists of general chronological files and named files. Chronological correspondence spans four decades and includes letters with clients, colleagues, and friends regarding business dealings, visits to Nakashima's workshop, and his ongoing affiliation with the Sri Aurobindo community. Named files are for awards, an exhibition at the Central Bucks Chamber of Commerce, correspondents in Japan, scholar and Sri Aurobindo devotee Vasant Merchant, correspondence regarding Nakashima's book titled The Soul of the Tree: A Woodworker's Reflections, and letters from the Sri Aurobindo temple.
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center.
Collection Citation:
George Nakashima papers, 1950-1991. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.nakageor, Series 2
See more items in:
George Nakashima papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-nakageor-ref2

Writings

Collection Creator:
Nakashima, George, 1905-1990  Search this
Extent:
2 folders (Box 1)
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1953-1989
Scope and Contents:
Writings by Nakashima include essays and a speech delivered to the New York Herald Tribune Forum on his design process and how his craft is connected to the natural and spiritual world. Writings about Nakashima include a translated article from Kateigaho magazine, "A Tree of Destiny" by Richard A. Ek, and article excerpts printed onto a single page.
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center.
Collection Citation:
George Nakashima papers, 1950-1991. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.nakageor, Series 3
See more items in:
George Nakashima papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-nakageor-ref3

General

Collection Creator:
Nakashima, George, 1905-1990  Search this
Container:
Box 1, Folder 5
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1970-1979
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center.
Collection Citation:
George Nakashima papers, 1950-1991. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
George Nakashima papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-nakageor-ref10

General

Collection Creator:
Nakashima, George, 1905-1990  Search this
Container:
Box 1, Folder 6-17
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1980-1989
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center.
Collection Citation:
George Nakashima papers, 1950-1991. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
George Nakashima papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-nakageor-ref11

General

Collection Creator:
Nakashima, George, 1905-1990  Search this
Container:
Box 1, Folder 18
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1990
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center.
Collection Citation:
George Nakashima papers, 1950-1991. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
George Nakashima papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-nakageor-ref12

Central Bucks Chamber of Commerce Exhibition

Collection Creator:
Nakashima, George, 1905-1990  Search this
Container:
Box 1, Folder 20
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1988
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center.
Collection Citation:
George Nakashima papers, 1950-1991. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
George Nakashima papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-nakageor-ref14

Japan

Collection Creator:
Nakashima, George, 1905-1990  Search this
Container:
Box 1, Folder 21
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
circa 1963-1989
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center.
Collection Citation:
George Nakashima papers, 1950-1991. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
George Nakashima papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-nakageor-ref15

The Soul of the Tree: A Woodworker's Reflections, Regarding

Collection Creator:
Nakashima, George, 1905-1990  Search this
Container:
Box 1, Folder 24
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1981-1982
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center.
Collection Citation:
George Nakashima papers, 1950-1991. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
George Nakashima papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-nakageor-ref16

Sri Aurobindo Matrimandir

Collection Creator:
Nakashima, George, 1905-1990  Search this
Container:
Box 1, Folder 25-27
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1965-1989
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center.
Collection Citation:
George Nakashima papers, 1950-1991. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
George Nakashima papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-nakageor-ref17

Merchant, Vasant

Collection Creator:
Nakashima, George, 1905-1990  Search this
Container:
Box 1, Folder 22-23
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1982-1987
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center.
Collection Citation:
George Nakashima papers, 1950-1991. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
George Nakashima papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-nakageor-ref18

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