George Nakashima, ‘Important and Rare Minguren coffee table’, 1977, Wright
George Nakashima, ‘Important and Rare Minguren coffee table’, 1977, Wright
George Nakashima, ‘Important and Rare Minguren coffee table’, 1977, Wright
George Nakashima, ‘Important and Rare Minguren coffee table’, 1977, Wright
George Nakashima, ‘Important and Rare Minguren coffee table’, 1977, Wright

An exceptionally figured solid redwood slab top with sap grain detail, numerous fissures, burls, free edges and four walnut butterflies to underside. Client name to underside: [Hoffman]. Sold with a copy of the original order card and invoice and a letter of authentication from Mira Nakashima.

From the Catalogue:

“Beauty and the greatest consciousness exist in a metaphysical world. Science and technology can only approximate without really touching this world. It is a world of great possibility, stemming from different roots and informed by a consciousness yet to be. Craft is part of this phenomenon. Craft and low technology can add to the reality and truth of a better world.”—George Nakashima

George Nakashima was born in Spokane, Washington in 1905. He attended the University of Washington where he excelled in architecture courses and was awarded a scholarship to study at the Ecole Americaine des Beaux-Arts in Fontainebleau. Nakashima completed his master’s degree from MIT in 1930, and worked for a brief time as a mural painter before losing his job during the depression. Nakashima sold his car, moved to Paris and then to Tokyo in 1934. In Japan, he worked at the architectural firm of Antonin Raymond where he was exposed to the Japanese folk art tradition. In 1937, Nakashima traveled to India to supervise the construction of Golconde, a dormitory for Sri Aurobindo Ashram.

Nakashima returned to the United States settling in Seattle, Washington where he worked for an architect and constructed his first furniture designs in the basement of a local Boys Club. During World War II, he and his family were sent to a Japanese internment camp in Idaho. Antonin Raymond petitioned for and attained their release under the condition that Nakashima would work on his farm in New Hope, Pennsylvania. Relocated, Nakashima began making furniture again. He produced a line for Knoll in 1946 and designed the Origins line for Widdicomb in 1957, but it is his studio works and important commissioned forms for which he is most admired.—Courtesy of Wright

George Nakashima: Full Circle, Ostergard, pg. 133, 134 discuss Minguren I forms

Acquired directly from the artist | John Hoffman, Pennsylvania | Wright, Important 20th Century Design, 3 December 2006, Lot 348 | Private Collection, New York

About 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.

American, 1905-1990, Spokane, Washington, based in New Hope, Pennsylvania

Solo Shows

Johnson Trading Gallery, 

Group Shows

New York,
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