Skip to main content

George Nelson

American, 1908-1986

Architect, designer, and writer George Nelson was a central figure in the mid-century American modernist design movement; and his thoughts influenced not only the furniture we live with, but also how we live.

Nelson came to design via journalism and literature. Upon receiving his bachelor’s degree in architecture from Yale in 1931, he won the Prix de Rome fellowship, and spent his time in Europe writing magazine articles that helped bring stateside recognition to Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Gio Ponti, Le Corbusier and other canonical modernist architects. In the 1940s, Nelson wrote texts that suggested such now-commonplace ideas as open-plan houses, storage walls and family rooms. D.J. De Pree, the owner of the furniture maker Herman Miller, was so impressed by Nelson that in 1944 — following the sudden death of Gilbert Rohde, who had introduced the firm to modern design in the 1930s — he invited Nelson to join the company as its design director.

There Nelson’s curatorial design talents came to the fore. To Herman Miller he brought such eminent creators as Charles and Ray Eames, Isamu Noguchi, and the textile and furniture designer Alexander Girard. Thanks to a clever contract, at the same time as he directed Herman Miller he formed a New York design company, George Nelson & Associates, that sold furniture designs to the Michigan firm, as well as its competitor, the Howard Miller Clock Company. Nelson’s New York team of designers (who were rarely individually credited) would create such iconic pieces as the Marshmallow sofa, the Coconut chair, the Ball clock, the Bubble lamp series and the many cabinets and beds that comprise the sleek Thin-Edge line.

For dedicated collectors, as well as for interior designers who look beyond “the look,” there is a “cool-factor” inherent to vintage pieces from George Nelson and others. Nelson was in on it from the start, and it’s valuable to have a piece that was there with him. But still, as is evident from the offerings from dealers on these pages, in any of the designs, in any iteration whose manufacture Nelson oversaw and encouraged, there are shining elements of lightness, elegance, sophistication — and a little bit of swagger. George Nelson felt confident in his ideas about design and didn’t mind letting the world know.

Average Sold Price
$3,043
Styles
Materials
Iconic Designs from George Nelson
Explore timeless pieces that have earned their place in history.
Thin Edge Group
Thin Edge Group
Basic Cabinet Series
Basic Cabinet Series
Coconut Lounge Chair
Coconut Lounge Chair
Nelson Pedestal Table
Nelson Pedestal Table
George Nelson for Herman Miller Miniature Jewelry Chest, 1950
By George Nelson, Herman Miller
Located in Vienna, AT
Unusual chest of drawers by George Nelson for Herman Miller, mid century Elegant chest designed by George Nelson and in very good original vintage condition. It's a rare piece, la...
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage George Nelson

Materials

Aluminum

George Nelson & Associates for Herman Miller Cabinet Model 5211
By George Nelson, Herman Miller
Located in Houston, TX
George Nelson & Associates Miniature cabinet, model 5211 Herman Miller USA, 1950s Walnut, rosewood, enameled steel, laminate, porcelain Measures: 20.25 W × 14 D × 32.25 H in ...
Category

Mid-20th Century American Mid-Century Modern George Nelson

Materials

Walnut

Early Irving Harper for George Nelson Associates "Cape Cod" Fire Starter
By Irving Harper, George Nelson
Located in Providence, RI
Early Cape Cod firelighter, Model H611, designed by Irving Harper for George Nelson Associates for Howard Miller USA, 1950-1955. The vessel itself would be filled with Kerosene, to s...
Category

Mid-20th Century American Mid-Century Modern George Nelson

Materials

Iron

George Nelson & Associates CSS Wall System for Herman Miller
By George Nelson, Herman Miller
Located in Chicago, IL
George Nelson & Associates CSS (Comprehensive Shelving System) for Herman Miller: The system is comprised of five aluminum uprights with six shelves, 2 with light sources, A Dropd...
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage George Nelson

Materials

Aluminum

George Nelson BCS Vanity with Stool
By George Nelson
Located in Amarillo, TX
Absolutely amazing early 1950's George Nelson Basic Cabinet Series double sided suspended vanity with different style cabinets on each end and original stool. You could also use this...
Category

20th Century Central American Mid-Century Modern George Nelson

Materials

Brass, Steel

  • George Nelson BCS Vanity with Stool
  • George Nelson BCS Vanity with Stool
  • George Nelson BCS Vanity with Stool
  • George Nelson BCS Vanity with Stool
H 29.25 in. W 88.5 in. D 18.5 in.
1950s Walnut Open Cabinet with Glass Shelving by George Nelson for Herman Miller
By George Nelson, Herman Miller
Located in Sagaponack, NY
A solid walnut open cabinet or vitrine with three adjustable glass shelves and a solid glass paneled back.
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage George Nelson

Materials

Glass, Walnut

George Nelson Modular Seating System Bench in Alexander Girard Checker Fabric
By George Nelson
Located in Seattle, WA
Nelson’s studio “George Nelson & Associates” produced countless designs that were ahead of their time, including the Nelson Modular Seating System from which we have this three piece...
Category

1960s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage George Nelson

Materials

Steel

George Nelson for Herman Miller Rare Three Drawer Bachelor's Chest
By George Nelson, Herman Miller
Located in East Hampton, NY
George Nelson cabinet by Herman Miller, walnut wood case with three drawers with black finish, original zinc hairpin legs, signed with foil label, 34"w x 18.5"d x 32.5"h. RARE! in ve...
Category

1960s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage George Nelson

Materials

Metal

Browse all Furniture from George Nelson
Shop Now

George Nelson Sellers

George Nelson furniture for sale on 1stDibs

Furniture by George Nelson are available for sale on 1stDibs. These distinctive objects are often made of wood and designed with extraordinary care. There are many options to choose from in our collection of George Nelson furniture, although brown editions of this piece are particularly popular. We have 379 vintage editions of these items in-stock, while there is 0 modern edition to choose from as well. Many of the original furniture by George Nelson were created in North America during the 20th century in the Mid-Century Modern style. If you are looking for additional options, many customers also consider furniture by Paul McCobb, Mastercraft and Florence Knoll. Prices for George Nelson furniture can vary depending on size, time period and other attributes. The price for these items starts at US$155 and tops out at US$37,200, while pieces like these can sell for US$4,250 on average.

Recently Viewed

View More