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Catalog Data

Creator:
Nakashima, George, 1905-1990  Search this
Names:
Caldwell, Alfred, 1903-1998  Search this
Extent:
1 Linear foot
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
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 a Japanese American 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
Asian American art  Search this
Japanese American art  Search this
Japanese American artists  Search this
Japanese American architects  Search this
Japanese Americans -- Evacuation and relocation, 1942-1945  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