The Nakashima site, along with three other locations - Adlai E. Stevenson II Farm, Mettawa, IL; 1956 Grand Canyon TWA-United Airlines Aviation Accident Site, Grand Canyon National Park, AZ; The Detroit Industry Murals in Michigan - join 2,540 other sites across the country recognized as places that illustrate or interpret the heritage of the United States.
U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis marked National Park Week yesterday by announcing the designations.
The George Nakashima Woodworker Complex, located in Bucks County, PA, was the home of internationally-renowned furniture designer and woodworker George Nakashima. He is recognized as one of America’s most eminent furniture designer craftsmen.
The National Park Service, which administers the designation of historic sites, said Nakashima’s work expresses a worldview that is based upon a unique set of circumstances, including his formal education in architecture, his exposure to European Modernism, Eastern religious philosophy, and traditional Japanese craft traditions - including instruction from Issei carpenter Gentaro Hikogawa while both were confined at the Minidoka Relocation Center, one of 10 internment camps established for Japanese Americans during World War II.
As a self-proclaimed “woodworker,” Nakashima became an important voice for the artist craftsmen helping to create a new paradigm for studio furniture production in the postwar period. The George Nakashima Woodworker complex is also significant, say the Interior Department, for its Japanese-influenced International Style structures designed by Nakashima and built under his direct supervision.
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