George Nakashima - KARUIZAWA CHAIR - Moderne Gallery - Design Miami/
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George Nakashima


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Made in 1935 in Japan, this was the first furniture design made by Nakashima. While working on the architecture of a church in Karuizawa, Japan with Antonin and Noemi Raymond, Nakashima designed this chair for parishioners. Until our recent discovery of 6 examples in New Zealand, ony two were known to exist, both in Japanese museums. Made from the branches of the cryptomeria tree, these chairs are made from peeled cryptomeria and jute.

George Nakashima


In the workshop of George Nakashima, the soul of the tree was celebrated. "It is an art- and soul-satisfying adventure to walk the forests of the world, to commune with trees,” Nakashima said, “to bring this living material to the work bench, ultimately to give it a second life." Nakashima, an architect who trained at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, discovered woodworking while in an internment camp during WWII. In 1943, he moved to New Hope, Pennsylvania and opened his studio. There he created pieces highlighting wood’s natural beauty, most notably by including the tree’s rough outer layer, or the “free edge”. Nakashima worked throughout the world; in India, he became deeply spiritual. He developed a goal to construct peace altars on every continent—the first, made of book-matched slabs of black walnut, was installed at New York’s Cathedral of St. John the Divine in 1986.

  • Dimension/

    48.3 x 81.3 x 46.0 cm (19.0 x 32.0 x 18.1 in)

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