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The renowned furniture designer and architect will meet with visitors and sign copies of her book, The Nakashima Process Book

New Hope, PA/Philadelphia, PA | May 23, 2024 – On June 13, from 5:30 to 8:00 p.m., the Museum for Art in Wood (141 N. 3rd Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106) hosts a special book signing event with renowned furniture designer and architect Mira Nakashima. Nakashima is the daughter of George Nakashima, one of the leading innovators of 20th-century furniture. During the event, visitors can meet Mira and have their copy of her book, The Nakashima Process Book, signed. The publication illustrates what makes Nakashima’s unique handmade furniture special, featuring original sketches, the philosophy behind George Nakashima’s masterpieces, and family history. The event is free to the public, with registration available here. Patrons can pre-order a copy of The Nakashima Process from the Museum’s website before the event. 

Eighty-two-year-old Mira Nakashima was just three when her father, George, opened a woodworking studio in New Hope, PA to find work and fulfillment, following the family’s release from an internment camp established under President Franklin Roosevelt’s Executive Order 9066. Mira, who was just nominated for a Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum 2025 National Design Award as a design visionary, is a trained architect and Harvard graduate who has worked in the family business since 1970. She produces her father’s iconic designs as well as her own custom-designed, hand-crafted furniture. She is currently the head of Nakashima Woodworkers as well as the Nakashima Foundation for Peace.

A Nakashima piece is a conscious simplification of design that allows wood to tell its own story. The studio’s approach to design represents the rich and active legacy that, to this day, is led by a strict adherence to craftsmanship and a humble respect for wood. Earlier this year, Mira was commissioned by the U.S. State Department to create a special three-legged Pennsylvania black walnut wood table presented as a special gift to Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, the first Japanese leader to visit the U.S. as a state guest in nine years. She had previously crafted a freeform black walnut coffee table in a shape, similar to a Nakashima Peace Altar for President Barack Obama, adding a special inscription to the Obamas underneath.

In September 2023, Mira Nakashima published The Nakashima Process Book, which explores George and Mira’s devotion to discovering the inherent beauty of wood so that noble trees might have a second life as furniture. Nakashima Woodworkers’ process remains unchanged -- embracing the unique qualities of wood to reveal the ‘soul of the tree’ and emphasizing the natural beauty of the wood grain and burl. No two pieces of Nakashima furniture are identical, and this book expands the understanding and appreciation of the time-consuming, individual attention spent on each piece of furniture produced. Patrons can purchase a copy of the book at the Museum’s store during the June 13 event or pre-order it through the website here. 

After receiving their signed copy of Mira’s book, visitors are encouraged to tour the Museum for Art in Wood’s exhibition and permanent collection, including the latest feature exhibition To Understand a Tree by interdisciplinary artist and woodworker Gina Siepel. The exhibition stems from Siepel’s work as Artist-in-Residence at MacLeish Field Station at Smith College, beginning in 2018, and was inspired by the desire to contemplate a single red oak and its forest habitat.

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