Bucks County Artist’s Complex Designated as a National Landmark
Harrisburg – The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum (PHMC) today joins
with the historic preservation community across the country in recognizing the
George Nakashima Woodworker Complex located in New Hope, Bucks County, as a
National Landmark as designated by the U.S. Department of the Interior.
furniture designer and woodworker George Nakashima is recognized as one of
America’s most eminent furniture designer craftsmen. The George Nakashima
Woodworker complex is significant for its innovative Japanese-influenced
International Style structures designed by Nakashima and built under his direct
supervision. 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.
State Historic Officer for Pennsylvania, I am pleased with the recognition of
this very significant artist and artisan,” said Jim Vaughan, Executive Director
of the PHMC. “His works can be found in museums around the world and an
appreciation for his work has only grown since his death in 1990.”
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. Those traditions include 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.
designation of the Nakashima’s Woodworker Complex, along with three other
sites, was made by U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and National
Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis as part of National Park Week. The
sites announced today join 2,540 other sites across the country recognized as
places that possess exceptional value and quality in illustrating or
interpreting the heritage of the United States.
sites receiving this designation include Adlai E. Stevenson II Farm, Mettawa,
Illinois; The Detroit Industry Murals, Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit,
Michigan and the 1956 Grand Canyon TWA-United Airlines Aviation Accident Site,
Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona.
National Historic Landmarks Program, established in 1935, is administered by
the National Park Service on behalf of the Secretary of the Interior. The
agency works with preservation officials, private property owners, and other
partners interested in nominating properties for National Historic Landmark
designation. Completed nominations are reviewed by the National Park System
Advisory Board, which makes recommendations for designation to the Secretary of
information on the designations can be found at http://www.nps.gov/nhl/news/intro.htm.
Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission is the official history agency of
the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
online at www.phmc.state.pa.us.