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Spotlight: Mount Dora Museum Pays Tribute To American Craft Pioneers

Photo courtesy of Modernism Museum Mount Dora
Photo courtesy of Modernism Museum Mount Dora

At Modernism Museum Mount Dora, there’s an exhibit honoring the most influential artists of Modernism & the American Studio Arts Movement. The exhibit is called “esherick to NAKASHIMA”.

Wharton Esherick is known as the “dean of American craftsmen” for his sculpting of wood into functional art. The exhibit compares Esherick’s work to another craftsman influential to the movement, George Nakashima.

Modernism Museum Mount Dora Acting Museum Director Juliette Davis said the exhibit has 125 unique pieces, some that are on display to the public for the very first time.

Davis said the movement was about getting away from mass production of furniture "and making them something that was not only utilitarian but also aesthetically pleasing. They were also art."

Nakashima really focused on the "soul of a tree."

"He felt that the trees had souls that wanted to live again so he had that connection with the trees and would see the art form that was within them, and he would create those into his pieces of furniture," said Davis.

Listen to the entire audio interview by clicking the player above.


[caption id="attachment_55283" align="alignnone" width="303"] Wharton Esherick-Spiral Stair. Photo courtesy of Modernism Museum Mount Dora.[/caption]


[caption id="attachment_55281" align="alignnone" width="400"] Fiore-Rockefeller room. Photo courtesy of Modernism Museum Mount Dora.[/caption]