George Nakashima | the artist

The artist George Nakashima
Born 1905, Spokane, Washington, USA.
Died 1990

Style and technique of the artist: Art and Crafts Movement,

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george nakashima
A table for peace.

george nakashima
George Nakashima was born in Spokane, Washington in 1905 and grew up in the forests of the Olympic Peninsula. He received a Bachelor’s Degree in architecture at the University of Washington and a Master’s from MIT in 1930, as well as the Prix Fontainebleau from L’Ecole Americaine des Beaux Arts in France in 1928.
After spending some time in Paris, he traveled around the world and secured a job at the Antonin Raymond office in Tokyo which sent him to Pondicherry, India, where he was the onsite architect for the first reinforced concrete building in that country and became one of the first disciples of Sri Aurobindo.

george nakashima
his major commissions included furnishings for the late new york governor nelson a. rockefeller’s home, interiors for columbia university,
the church of christ the king in katsura, kyoto, the international paper corporation, and the monastery of christ in the desert as well as the
altars of peace. (the altars of peace are now installed in new york city, auroville / india, and the academy of art in moscow / russia)

george nakashima
While Nakashima’s creations were influenced by Japanese, Modernist, and even Shaker styles, his greatest inspiration probably came from trees themselves. “My kinship with the tree dates from the day I first stood among the great forest giants in the rain forest of Washington’s Ho River valley … ,” Nakashima writes in his book The Soul of a Tree. “It is an art- and soul-satisfying adventure to walk the forests of the world, to commune with trees … to bring this living material to the work bench, ultimately to give it a second life.”

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