The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Saturday, October 1, 2016


George Nakashima's Straight Back Chair is Subject of Exhibit at Design Center at Philadelphia University
Straight Back Chair, designed by George Nakashima.
NEW HOPE, PA.- From April 30 to June 5, 2009, The Design Center at Philadelphia University hosts George Nakashima and Knoll: The Making of an Object. This exhibition tells the story of the Nakashima Straight Back Chair: first as a handmade piece crafted exclusively at Nakashima’s workshop in New Hope, Pennsylvania; next as part of the Knoll product line in the 1940s and 50s; and finally, as a modern production piece reintroduced to the Knoll catalogue in 2008. The lifecycle of this iconic chair is examined through photographs, videos and actual samples of the chair itself. Also on view are early chairs designed by Nakashima and still in production today, as well as a selection of the designer’s personal tools.

“By viewing the lifespan of the Straight Back Chair, the visitor can realize how an artist creates a well designed product that can then be translated into a more accessible piece of furniture for the public,” says Hilary Jay, Executive Director of The Design Center at Philadelphia University.

From 1946 to 1954 Knoll, an international manufacturer of modern furniture for the workplace and the home, produced a series of designs by woodworker and craftsman George Nakashima. For Nakashima, who made each of his designs by hand at his New Hope workshop, this was an opportunity to see how craftsmanship and industry could be joined to create pieces of high quality for large-scale production.

Nakashima (1905-1990) was born in Spokane, Washington, and grew up in the forests of the Olympic Peninsula. He attended the University of Washington, where he initially studied forestry before switching to architecture. After earning his master’s degree in architecture at MIT in 1930, Nakashima went to work for modern architect Antonin Raymond in Tokyo. Under Raymond, Nakashima spent three years supervising the construction of the first reinforced concrete building in Pondicherry, India. When war broke out, Nakashima returned via Tokyo to the United States. Shortly after his marriage to Marion and the birth of his daughter, Mira, the family was interned at the camps in Minidoka, Idaho. It was there that Nakashima met Gentaro Hikogawa, a man trained in traditional Japanese carpentry. Under his tutelage, Nakashima learned to master traditional Japanese hand tools and joinery techniques.

“Work for him was a spiritual calling, a linking of his strength to a transcendental force, a surrender to the divine, a form of prayer,” says Mira of her father’s approach to woodworking.

In 1946, Nakashima agreed to have a few of his designs – including the Straight Back Chair – marketed by Knoll, a manufacturer of innovative modern furniture that was founded in New York three years earlier. In order to accommodate growing demand, Nakashima worked with the Knoll product development team to manufacture his furniture at an off-site Knoll facility.

The relationship between Nakashima and Knoll ended in 1954. Then in 2008, Knoll, in collaboration with Mira Nakashima-Yarnall, reintroduced the Nakashima Straight Back Chair and Splay-Leg Table to its product line. In order to get the chair and table ready once again for large-scale production, Knoll’s product engineers had the pieces digitally scanned and translated into 3D modeling and architectural programs. Mira worked closely with the Knoll design team to ensure the integrity and quality of the final product compared to the designer’s original. Today, the Knoll versions of the Straight Back Chair and Splay-Leg Table are manufactured in upstate New York. The artist’s original version of the Straight Back Chair is still handcrafted at George Nakashima Woodworker’s studio using air-dried walnut, hand-shaved hickory spindles and a hand-rubbed oil finish.






Today's News

April 30, 2009

President Nicolas Sarkozy Outlined his Blueprint for Creating a New Bigger, "Greater Paris"

Norwegian National Opera & Ballet Wins Mies van der Rohe Award 2009

Exemplary Works by Spain's Foremost Artists in Sotheby's 19th Century European Paintings Sale

Diego Rivera Self-portrait Highlights Christie's Latin American Sale

UK Museums See Rise in Visitors but Feeling the Pinch as Recession Takes Hold

Sotheby's Sale of Latin American Art in New York to be Held on May 27 - 28

Hirshhorn Museum Presents "Directions: Walead Beshty, Legibility on Color Backgrounds"

George Nakashima's Straight Back Chair is Subject of Exhibit at Design Center at Philadelphia University

Museum of London Shows an Exquisite Roman Polychrome Millefiori Dish

Oklahoma Modernism Rediscovered with Julius Shulman Exhibition

Sotheby's to Exhibit Ukrainian Art In Kiev

Take One Picture - An Exhibition of Work by Primary Schools Inspired by Turner's "The Fighting Temeraire"

Maryhill Museum of Art Presents Annual Outdoor Sculpture Invitational

The Art Fund Helps Broadfield House Glass Museum Acquire Shining New Work

The Steps: A Public Art Performance with the Step Aerobic Class at the UL Sports Arena, University of Limerick

Prop Master: An Installation by Juan Logan and Susan Harbage Page Through July 19 at the Gibbes Museum of Art

The Collectors of the Friends of the Georgia Museum of Art Present a Celebration of Automotive Design, Art on Wheels

Tony Bennett Donates Painting of Duke Ellington to the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery

Visionary Photographer & Fulbright Scholar Tobias Hutzler Shows at Academy of Art University

Most Popular Last Seven Days



1.- Stone Age mummy Oetzi still revealing secrets, 25 years on

2.- Tunisian remains found by British researchers prove 100,000-year human presence

3.- Rembrandt's four earliest paintings reunited for the first time at the Ashmolean

4.- Baltimore Museum of Art is one of only two major U.S. museums to feature an installation by transgender artists

5.- Archaeologists find 2,000-year-old human skeleton at Mediterranean shipwreck

6.- Digitally unwrapped scroll reveals earliest Old Testament scripture

7.- Rich London residents angry over Tate Modern voyeurs

8.- V&A Museum chief quits to fight nationalism post-Brexit

9.- Exhibition in Turin celebrates the most important family of Flemish artists

10.- Pointillism is now the focus of a high-calibre exhibition at the Albertina in Vienna

Related Stories



Important Judaica and Israeli & international art bring a combined $7.9 million at Sotheby's New York

Tunisia to auction ousted despot's treasures

Andy Warhol's Mao portraits excluded from the Beijing and Shanghai shows next year

China criticises French Qing dynasty seal auction

Christie's announces auction marking the first half century of the popular and luxurious interiors shop Guinevere

Nine new exhibits debut at San Diego International Airport

Rembrandt masterpiece "Portrait of Catrina Hooghsaet" back on display at National Museum Cardiff

Amber: 40-million-year-old fossilised tree resin is Baltic gold

Egyptian artist Iman Issa wins the Ist FHN Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona Award

The main chapel of the Basilica of Santa Croce open for visits after five year restoration



Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .

 

Founder:
Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher:Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
produces:

ignaciovillarreal.org avemariasound.org juncodelavega.com facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
Hommage
to a Mexican poet.
Hommage
       

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful