Skip to main content Smithsonian Institution

Search Results

Collections Search Center
4 documents - page 1 of 1

Oral history interview with Mira Nakashima

Interviewee:
Nakashima, Mira  Search this
Interviewer:
McElhinney, James Lancel, 1952-  Search this
Creator:
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Names:
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Extent:
4 Items (wav files (2 hr., 57 min.), digital)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
2010 March 11
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Mira Nakashima conducted 2010 March 11, by James McElhinney, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, at Nakashima's reception house, in New Hope, Pennsylvania.
Biographical / Historical:
Mira Nakashima (1942- ) is a Japanese American woodworker based in New Hope, Pennsylvania. Nakashima is the daughter of fellow woodworker, George Nakashima.
General:
Originally recorded on 2 sound discs. Reformatted in 2010 as 4 digital wav files. Duration is 2 hr., 57 min.
Provenance:
This interview is part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and administrators.
Occupation:
Woodworkers -- Pennsylvania  Search this
Topic:
Asian American art  Search this
Asian American artists  Search this
Asian American women artists  Search this
Japanese American art  Search this
Japanese American artists  Search this
Japanese American women artists  Search this
Asian American woodworkers  Search this
Asian American furniture designers  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.nakash10
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-nakash10

George Nakashima papers, 1950-1991

Creator:
Nakashima, George K., 1905-1990  Search this
Nakashima, George K., 1905-1990  Search this
Subject:
Caldwell, Alfred  Search this
Topic:
Architect-designed furniture  Search this
Artisans  Search this
Asian American art  Search this
Asian American artists  Search this
Asian American architects  Search this
Decorative arts  Search this
Furniture making  Search this
Handicrafts  Search this
Woodworkers  Search this
Japanese American art  Search this
Japanese American artists  Search this
Japanese Americans -- Evacuation and relocation, 1942-1945  Search this
Asian American woodworkers  Search this
Asian American furniture designers  Search this
Furniture designers--Pennsylvania--New Hope  Search this
Theme:
Asian American  Search this
Lives of American Artists  Search this
Craft  Search this
Architecture & Design  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)10793
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)214474
AAA_collcode_nakageor
Theme:
Asian American
Lives of American Artists
Craft
Architecture & Design
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_214474
Online Media:

George Nakashima papers

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 art  Search this
Asian American artists  Search this
Asian American architects  Search this
Decorative arts  Search this
Furniture making  Search this
handicrafts  Search this
Woodworkers  Search this
Japanese American art  Search this
Japanese American artists  Search this
Japanese Americans -- Evacuation and relocation, 1942-1945  Search this
Asian American woodworkers  Search this
Asian American furniture designers  Search this
Furniture designers--Pennsylvania--New Hope  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

Oral history interview with Mira Nakashima, 2010 March 11

Interviewee:
Nakashima, Mira, 1942-  Search this
Nakashima, Mira, 1942-  Search this
Interviewer:
McElhinney, James, 1952-  Search this
Subject:
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Type:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Topic:
Asian American art  Search this
Asian American artists  Search this
Asian American women artists  Search this
Japanese American art  Search this
Japanese American artists  Search this
Japanese American women artists  Search this
Asian American woodworkers  Search this
Asian American furniture designers  Search this
Theme:
Women  Search this
Asian American  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)15799
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)288894
AAA_collcode_nakash10
Theme:
Women
Asian American
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_288894
Online Media:

Modify Your Search







or


Narrow By
  • Asian Americans
  • Japanese Americans
  • Asian Americans
  • Japanese Americans
  • Archives of American Art