The Beauty of Simple Things – Custom Designs by George Nakashima from the Edmund J. Bennett Collection

November 4, 2013

LAMA is pleased to announce that the upcoming February 23, 2014 Modern Art & Design Auction will feature 60 commissioned designs by George Nakashima from the collection of Edmund J. Bennett. Spanning over 30 years, this collection has never been offered on the market.

George Nakashima, Doris Harris, and Edmund J. Bennett

In 1962, Edmund J. Bennett, self-taught residential builder and community planner, opened the Carderock Springs subdivision in Bethesda, Maryland, a housing development that promised community and modern living. Ahead of its time, the Carderock Springs subdivision featured homes with 4- and 5-bedroom houses, which were “modeled to cause as little alteration to the natural landscape as possible.”

In addition to his modern housing designs, Bennett was a savvy marketer. In August 1963, to publicize a newly developed section in the subdivision, Bennett with the help of architect-designer Doris Harris, commissioned George Nakashima to completely furnish the Valleyview model home to attract the attention of contemporary buyers.

Bennett’s marketing strategy paid off. On November 16, 1963, The Washington Post published an article about George Nakashima, his designs, and the Carderock Springs subdivision, bringing over 1,000 people to the model home that week alone.

Valleyview Living Room, 1963, Carderock Springs, Bethesda, Maryland, featuring George Nakashima custom furniture

LAMA has the privilege to offer Nakashima furnishings from this collaboration, which have remained in the collection of Edmund J. Bennett ever since. The collection includes a Conoid bench, a hanging wall case, a Slab II coffee table, a set of 12 Conoid chairs, hanging wall mirrors, a Frenchman’s Cove II dining table and extension, a Q Bench, a double sliding door cabinet, table lamps, a Conoid storage headboard, two daybeds, a “New” lounge rocking chair, and many other expertly crafted designs.

Drawing by George Nakashima for Edmund J. Bennett, April 15, 1978

The collection also includes drawings, ephemera, and correspondence between Nakashima and Bennett, in addition to photographs of the installation in the Valleyview living room and a photograph of Edmund Bennett, Doris Harris, and George Nakashima with a hanging wall case.

For more information regarding this special collection, please contact us. 

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Looking forward to seeing the auction pieces