50th Anniversary of the Nakashima Arts Building

May 7 • 2017

On May 7, 1967, George Nakashima opened another architectural feat on the Nakashima property by hosting an inaugural exhibition for the works of his dear friend, renowned artist Ben Shahn.

The Arts Building was donated to the Nakashima Foundation for Peace in 2002, which subsequently allowed the Heritage Conservancy of Bucks County to apply for status on the National Register of Historic Places in 2008. The National Park Service and the World Monument Fund took it two steps further in 2014, while the University of Pennsylvania/Penn Praxis applied for a “Keeping It Modern” grant from the Getty Foundation that same year.

Since that time, the University of Pennsylvania/Penn Praxis has been conducting intensive research and analysis on this unusual hyperbolic paraboloid structure, allowing them to make invaluable recommendations for maintenance and upkeep. It is our hope that they will be able to continue their investigations and eventually create an integrated schedule for maintenance and renovation of all the Nakashima buildings on the New Hope property designed by George Nakashima, the Architect.

The Nakashima Foundation for Peace was originally created by George Nakashima in 1984 to fund Altars for Peace that were intended for the entire world. Recently the Foundation has taken on the additional responsibility of maintaining the Nakashima Architectural and Furniture Legacy for future generations and is in the process of transition to accommodate this goal.

In celebration of the Arts Building 50th Anniversary, a private donor reception and public reception was held on May 7, 2017 as a grand opening of the recreation of the inaugural 1967 Ben Shahn exhibit, showcasing just over 20 prints, and the restoration of the original furniture installation. Both events opened with a Shakuhachi music meditation played by Glenn Swann then proceeded with an intimate review of the Getty Grant Research Project given by William Whitaker and César Bargues and a formal presentation given by Frank Sanchez on the apprenticeship preservation plan that is being funded by the World Monuments Fund.

Please come see the recreation of that first exhibit and help in preserving the Nakashima legacy. The Arts Building will be open for six months on Saturday afternoons (excluding Holidays) from 2pm-4pm. A $10 donation is required at the door.

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