George Nakashima Three-Legged (Mira) Stool c. 1950

  • Not on view

Nakashima, who trained as an architect at Harvard and MIT, learned traditional Japanese carpentry from a fellow prisoner at an internment camp during World War II. Dedicated to both spirituality and engineering, Nakashima combined meticulous handwork with industrial principles. Sometimes known as the Mira Stool (after the designer’s daughter), this is one of the earliest designs from Nakashima’s studio in New Hope, Pennsylvania, where he had moved with the support of Florence Knoll, as well as Nakashima’s Japanophile friends Antonin and Noémi Raymond, after being released from internment.

Gallery label from "How Should We Live? Propositions for the Modern Interior", October 1, 2016–April 23, 2017
Additional text

After training as an architect at Harvard and MIT, Nakashima began woodworking in the early 1940s. He learned about traditional Japanese carpentry from a fellow prisoner at an internment camp during World War II, and in the 1950s and 1960s he became a noted leader in the American Craft movement. Dedicated to both spirituality and engineering, Nakashima combined meticulous handwork with industrial principles. Also known as the Mira Chair (after the designer's daughter), this is one of the earliest designs from Nakashima's studio in New Hope, Pennsylvania. Its form was derived from the traditional Windsor chair.

Gallery label from What Was Good Design? MoMA's Message 1944–56, May 6, 2009–January 10, 2011.
Medium
Walnut
Dimensions
35 1/2 x 22 x 18" (90.2 x 55.9 x 45.7 cm)
Credit
Purchase
Object number
SC572.2010
Department
Architecture and Design
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