Conoid Chair

  • George Nakashima, Conoid Chair, 1971, black walnut and hickory, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Lloyd E. Herman, founding director and director emeritus of the Renwick Gallery (1971-1986), 1991.125

Exhibition Label

There is drama in the opening of a log--to uncover for the first time the beauty in the bole, or trunk, of a tree hidden for centuries, waiting to be given this second life. -- George Nakashima

Connections: Contemporary Craft at the Renwick Gallery, 2019

Luce Center Label

Conoid Chair was built from a slab of walnut cantilevered over two legs that George Nakashima designed to make the chair movable on carpeting. The chair was named after Nakashima's studio in New Hope, Pennsylvania, which was modeled on the section of a cone. The thin hickory spindles rising up to support a gently arced cross-member evoke the elegant window walls of the studio, and recall the colonial tradition of simple, functional spindle-back chairs.

Luce Object Quote

"It is an art and a soul-satisfying adventure to walk the forests of the world, to commune with trees, to take them when mature or even dead and . . . to bring this living material to the work bench, ultimately to give it a second life." George Nakashima, Woodworker, 1984

Conoid Chair
35 3/8 x 20 5/8 x 18 3/4 in. (89.8 x 52.5 x 47.6 cm)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Gift of Lloyd E. Herman, founding director and director emeritus of the Renwick Gallery (1971-1986)

Mediums Description
black walnut and hickory
Object Number
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI

Conoid Chair
1971, walnut and hickory

Born: Spokane, Washington 1905– Died: New Hope, Pennsylvania 1990

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