The Wunsch Americana Foundation and Christie’s auction house presented the 2020 Eric M. Wunsch Award for Excellence in the American Arts Jan. 22, to Laura Beach, editor-at-large, Antiques and the Arts Weekly; Lita Solis-Cohen, senior editor, Maine Antique Digest; and Mira Nakashima, architect, designer and author, of Solebury Township.
The event took place at Christie’s Rockefeller Center in New York.
The Wunsch Americana Foundation, led by Peter Wunsch with sons Eric and Noah, is dedicated to funding educational and preservation initiatives in the American arts.
“Architect, furniture maker and author Mira Nakashima has run the Nakashima Woodworkers studio since her father, 20th-century craftsman and architect George Nakashima, passed away in 1990,” according to Greg Smith in Arts and Antiques Weekly. “She continues the firm’s legacy, focusing on the personal characteristics of each individual wood slab and allowing that personality to inform the design process.”
In choosing Mira for this award, Smith wrote, Eric Wunsch recounted a personal collecting experience. “My wife and I had a son one year ago, and we were looking for a nursery chair. There was only one target in my mind: I wanted a Nakashima rocker. I found one at Rago, and we conceived the idea that Mira would be an eventual honoree of the award.”
Noting that Mira is continuing her father’s legacy, Wunsch said, “The way that she continues to evolve the fundamental aspects of George’s aesthetic with Mira’s natural influences, she has turned that incredibly important legacy into her own.”
The Wunsch Foundation is focused on building a bridge between historic American design with the very best from 20th century and contemporary makers.