George Nakashima Sideboard with Free Edge in American Walnut
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George Nakashima, sideboard with two sliding door, American walnut, New Hope, PA, 1959
This sideboard with two sliding doors by the master of craftsmanship George Nakashima shows the artists typical traits. A free-edged top contrasts with the geometric and angular cabinet. Admirable wooden connections have a decorative character and document Nakashima’s knowledge of wooden constructions. The interior is structured with adjustable shelves and a pull-out shelf on the right.
George Nakashima (1905-1990) was a Japanese architect who was born in the United States. After having lived in Paris and Tokyo he moved back to the United States. He started studying forestry but after two years he changed to architecture. Around 1946 Nakashima made a business agreement with Knoll International that ended in 1954. Nakashima was a very spiritual and philosophical designer and he felt bound by a sense of duty to his work. The basis of Nakashima's work was derived from his practice of integral yoga. The primary goal of Nakashima's work was to live in harmony with nature rather than to destroy it for their own use. He took inspiration from the Shakers and Le Corbusier. His approach was always that of an artist, calling on creative energies from deep within. He therefore believed that architecture and design had nothing to do with 'styles' but instead with honesty of expression, truth in materials and good proportion resulting in a 'Fine plainnes'. Besides yoga, it was also the aesthetics of the Japanese tea ceremony that had a profound influence on Nakashima's approach to life, architecture and design. Above all, Nakashima wanted to embody a message to all modern societies that we must constantly remember the eternal in all that we do. He often said of his own work that he gave trees a second life. His designs are known for their exquisite craftsmanship and are often 'signed' with dovetails and butterfly connections.
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