GEORGE NAKASHIMA Biography - Craftmen, artisans and people from other Occupations


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George Katsutoshi Nakashima was born in 1905 in Spokane, WA. Trained as an         
architect at the University of Washington and Massachusetts Institute of           
Technology, he first began furniture-making ventures in India, Japan, and           
Seattle, WA. Through the sponsorship of Antonin Raymond, he was released from       
the internment camps in the Idaho desert and founded his workshop in Bucks         
County about 1945.                                                                 
Believing in the integration of a personal and professional life, Nakashima         
began his business as a one-man shop and continued to operate on this principle     
throughout his career. He developed an international reputation and received       
many important commissions for buildings and furnishings for churches, corporate   
headquarters and private homes. A master craftsman, he created a distinctive       
style of furniture that gave "a second life" to the trees he loved so much.         
Nakashima received numerous awards, including the Gold Craftsmanship Medal of       
the American Institute of Architects (1952).                                       
At any given time, the Nakashima Workshop employs a dozen or so workers,           
including family members. Nakashima's daughter, Mira, who received degrees in       
architecture from Harvard University and Waseda University in Tokyo, worked as     
his assistant designer for 20 years and took over the task of producing             
backlogged orders after his death in 1990. Since then, as head of the Nakashima     
Studio, she has experimented with new forms, collaborating with other architects   
and developing new work such as the "Keisho" group.