George Nakashima was a Japanese-American woodworker born in Spokane, Washington, who studied architecture at the esteemed École Américaine des Beaux Arts outside of Paris, and then received a Master’s degree in Architecture from M.I.T. Though this architectonic training would impact his woodwork and style, it was perhaps his forced internment during World War II which had one of the greatest effects.
Sometimes, the phrase “carving out a national identity” is to be taken quite literally. Lars Kinsarvik, the Norwegian woodcarver and designer, was working in Norway in the early 20th century. This was a time when the country was asserting an independent status from Sweden which had controlled Norway until 1905 (Denmark had reigned over Norway before Sweden for about 400 years). Working mostly on commissions, Kinsarvik’s inimitable elaborate carvings and palette helped change the landscape of Norway’s churches, homes, restaurants, hotels and furniture.
Robert Loughlin was a figure of legend. During his lifetime, his uncanny talent for scouting important design work on the secondhand market – together with his nearly compulsive penchant for painting a particular motif on the objects he found – made him an icon among a select group of art and design collectors…
This month, Wendell Castle, one of America’s most distinguished artist-craftsmen, celebrated his 80th birthday. Throughout a 50-year-long career, Castle forged a highly distinctive path, merging the aims of craft, design and fine art to bring forth forms entirely of his own vision.
“The role of the architect, or the designer, is that of a very good, thoughtful host, all of whose energy goes into trying to anticipate the needs of his guests – those who enter the building and use the objects in it.” -Charles Eames, Arts & Architecture, December 1945
During Design Miami/ Basel this past June, Stockholm-based gallery Jackson’s exhibited a unique set of cabinets designed by twentieth-century architect-designer Josef Frank. Produced in 1958 by Swedish interiors company Svensk Tenn for a private residence in São Paulo, these objects are a perfect embodiment of Frank’s approach to design. While throughout his long career Frank upheld a principled and progressive design philosophy that kept modern human needs at the forefront, he disparaged the austere environments and puritanical aesthetics endorsed by modernists of his day.
It is difficult not to romanticize the biography of Roger Tallon’s Module 400 series. This story unfolds within the swinging 60s in Paris – amid the music of Serge Gainsbourg and the fashion of André Courrèges; amid radical transgressions of social mores and sweeping challenges to the traditional boundaries between the arts. The protagonists include…