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Works from the Collection of Robert & Eunice Faber
In 1951, Robert and Eunice Faber took a road trip that led them to New Hope, Pennsylvania and to the doorstep of George Nakashima. The artist gave the couple a tour of his workshop, explaining his design philosophy and his passion for crafting soulful, practical and unique creations. They fell in love with all of his works, but the young newlyweds could only afford a modest coffee table at the time (Lot 175). In 1965, they were able to purchase several more works by Nakashima to display alongside their cherished table, adding to what would become an eclectic and unique family collection.
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.