Published On: Sat, Oct 25th, 2014

Nakashima Foundation Celebrates Inclusion in World Monuments Watch

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Date/Time
Date(s) - 10/25/2014
10:00 am - 2:00 pm

Location
Nakashima Foundation for Peace

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Nakashima Foundation Celebrates Inclusion in World Monuments Watch

Holds Open House in New Hope on October 25

The Nakashima Foundation for Peace and the World Monument Fund will hold a “Watch Day” event on Saturday, October 25, 2014 from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. commemorating the Nakashima Foundation’s inclusion on the World Monuments Watch List.  The event is free and open to the public.

Launched in 1996 and issued every two years, the World Monuments Watch calls international attention to the challenges facing cultural heritage sites around the globe. Inclusion on the list provides an important opportunity for the Nakashima Foundation for Peace to work towards improved site-protection and to build community engagement in their preservation efforts.

Beginning at 10:00 a.m., members of the Nakashima Family and the Foundation for Peace will answer questions about George Nakashima, the history of the buildings and his furniture business. At 11:00 a.m., Frank Emile Sanchis III, Program Director of World Monument Fund will give a presentation on some of the World Monument Fund projects past and present and answer questions from the audience in the Arts Building. Light refreshments will be served in the Arts Building at 12:00 p.m., followed by a cello concert by Noelle Cassella Grant in the Pool House. “Watch Day” events will conclude at 2:00 PM.  The Conoid Studio and Showroom will remain open to the public during the regular Open House from 1:00 to 4:30 PM:

During the open house, the Nakashima family, woodworking staff and foundation board will be on hand to distribute maps of the property, to guide and to answer questions.  Commemorative posters will be available for sale at the Arts Building after the presentation.

About the Nakashima Foundation for Peace Arts Building

In the 1960s, because of his close friendship with the artist Ben Shahn and ongoing interest in the craft and monastic traditions of the world, George Nakashima designed and built the “Arts Building” with the intent that Ben would be able to display his art.  He opened a beautiful show of Ben Shahn’s prints, some in Nakashima frames, in 1967. Ben noticed that there was a perfect wall for a mosaic, designed one of his few abstract compositions for that wall.  When Ben passed away in 1969, George and his son, Kevin, took this design to Ben’s mosaicist, Gabriel Loire, in Chartres, France, and had him fabricate the mosaic, ship it in 8 panels, and installed it in 1972 in memory of Ben. The interior wall of the building contains Japanese volcanic rock from the 1964 World’s Fair, a “keyhole” sculpture gifted by Masayuki Nagare, a cantilevered staircase, Nakashima’s framed architectural drawings from the University of Washington and Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1930, and two Harry Bertoia sculptures gifted by Harry in exchange for furniture.

There are two smaller warped plywood shell Hyperbolic Paraboloid roofs on the Nakashima property built in 1956, and a reinforced concrete church of the same shape in Kyoto, Japan, but these are some of the rare examples of this kind of construction in the world.  Graduate students from the University of Pennsylvania Architectural Restoration Department are doing intensive research on the design and construction of the buildings, which will serve as a guide for maintenance and future restoration.  The World Monument Fund will assist in the training of craftsmen and builders to make sure that the restoration work is done with respect for and understanding of the original engineering, materials and techniques used by George Nakashima in the 1960s. Other important architectural elements are a thin warped plywood barrel vault shell covering the Pool House built in 1960, a reinforced concrete pool with special cantilevered deck, and the Reception House, the last building George Nakashima designed and built in 1975 with a sunken Japanese tile tub and Japanese Tea Room, all of which will be open during Watch Day.

For more information, please see www.nakashimafoundation.org and www.nakashimawoodworker.com, or call (215) 862-2272.  The Nakashima Foundation for Peace is located at 1847 Aquetong Road, New Hope, PA 18938.  Please follow directions from the Woodworker website.

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