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Nakashima Straight Chair

Presenting a very special re-introduction: the Nakashima Straight-Backed Chair (1948), designed by George Nakashima for Knoll. Nakashima was an MIT-trained architect who was known to describe himself as “Japanese Shaker.” This was meant to express his belief that his designs should be treated as everyday functional objects, not precious possessions. Such thinking was consistent with the Mingei Movement that influenced Nakashima and his work. The Movement sought to rescue common crafts that had been discarded as a result of industrial revolution, like traditional Japanese joinery and the use of natural materials. What’s remarkable about his work for Knoll is that Nakashima was able to maintain the sculptural lines and fine craftsmanship of his Straight-Backed Chair even at the mass production level. This reconciliation of art and industry, and the contradictions that accompanied it, continued to fascinate Nakashima throughout his career. His work has been presented at many exhibitions worldwide, including the retrospective “Full Circle” at the American Craft Museum in New York. This chair is manufactured by Knoll.
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