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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
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

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

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
George Nakashima papers / Series 2: Correspondence
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
George Nakashima papers / Series 2: Correspondence
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
George Nakashima papers / Series 2: Correspondence
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-nakageor-ref12

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
George Nakashima papers / Series 2: Correspondence
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-nakageor-ref13

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
George Nakashima papers / Series 2: Correspondence
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
George Nakashima papers / Series 2: Correspondence
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
George Nakashima papers / Series 2: Correspondence
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
George Nakashima papers / Series 2: Correspondence
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
George Nakashima papers / Series 2: Correspondence
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-nakageor-ref18

By Nakashima

Collection Creator:
Nakashima, George, 1905-1990  Search this
Container:
Box 1, Folder 28
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1953
undated
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
George Nakashima papers / Series 3: Writings
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-nakageor-ref19

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

About Nakashima

Collection Creator:
Nakashima, George, 1905-1990  Search this
Container:
Box 1, Folder 29
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1978-1989
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
George Nakashima papers / Series 3: Writings
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-nakageor-ref20

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
George Nakashima papers / Series 4: Subject Files
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-nakageor-ref21

Flush Toilet Systems

Collection Creator:
Nakashima, George, 1905-1990  Search this
Container:
Box 1, Folder 31
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1976
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
George Nakashima papers / Series 4: Subject Files
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-nakageor-ref22

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
George Nakashima papers / Series 4: Subject Files
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
George Nakashima papers / Series 4: Subject Files
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-nakageor-ref24

Art Reproductions

Collection Creator:
Nakashima, George, 1905-1990  Search this
Container:
Box 1, Folder 34
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
circa 1986
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
George Nakashima papers / Series 5: Printed Material
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-nakageor-ref25

Booklets

Collection Creator:
Nakashima, George, 1905-1990  Search this
Container:
Box 1, Folder 35
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
circa 1980s
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
George Nakashima papers / Series 5: Printed Material
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-nakageor-ref26

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