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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
$2,703
Styles
Materials
Iconic Designs from George Nelson
Explore timeless pieces that have earned their place in history.
Thin Edge Group
Thin Edge Group
Coconut Lounge Chair
Coconut Lounge Chair
Basic Cabinet Series
Basic Cabinet Series
Nelson Pedestal Table
Nelson Pedestal Table
George Nelson Bubble Floor Lamps
By George Nelson, Herman Miller
Located in Atlanta, GA
George nelson bubble floor lamps, American, circa 2000s. Signed with Herman Miller lable. These were only produced by Herman Miller as floor lamps for a limited time in the early 200...
Category

Early 2000s American Mid-Century Modern George Nelson

Materials

Metal

George Nelson Modern Sofa for Herman Miller in Ethereal Mint Green 1950s USA
By George Nelson, Herman Miller
Located in National City, CA
For your consideration: George Nelson vintage sofa for Herman Miller in Ethereal Mint Green 1950s Modern USA Fabulous angled Legs. Made in the USA circa 1950s. Dimensions: 28.5 ...
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage George Nelson

Materials

Aluminum, Steel

George Nelson for Herman Miller Floating Desk
By Herman Miller, George Nelson
Located in South Charleston, WV
29.75" tall, 72" wide and 30" deep. George Nelson and Associates 1952. Video just added to this listing. Early Executive desk with rattan screen. Refinished and in excellent conditio...
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage George Nelson

Materials

Steel

George Nelson Five-Drawer Thin Edge Rosewood Dresser
By George Nelson
Located in Chicago, IL
George Nelson five drawer thin edge rosewood dresser, dynamic rich rosewood graining, features five drawers with porcelain pulls and aluminum tapered legs. Foil label inside drawer...
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage George Nelson

Materials

Aluminum

George Nelson for Herman Miller Lamp and Planter Table
By George Nelson, Herman Miller
Located in Garnerville, NY
Model 4634-L George Nelson for Herman Miller leather top lamp and planter table. Signed with foil label in drawer, George Nelson design, Herman Miller, Zeeland, Michigan. Swinging al...
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage George Nelson

Materials

Aluminum

Vintage 1950's George Nelson for Herman Miller, Model 4774 Armchairs, a Pair
By George Nelson
Located in West Palm Beach, FL
Designed by George Nelson for Herman Miller, these rarely seen armchairs, model 4774, feature an open rectilinear frame in ebonized birch and a deeply comfortable upholstered seat an...
Category

1950s Saint Pierre and Miquelon Mid-Century Modern Vintage George Nelson

Materials

Wood

George Nelson Rosewood "Thin Edge" Chests
By George Nelson
Located in San Francisco, CA
Pair of original grain matched George Nelson design rosewood "Thin Edge" chests for Herman Miller. Very good original condition, labeled.
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage George Nelson

Materials

Rosewood

  • George Nelson Rosewood "Thin Edge" Chests
  • George Nelson Rosewood "Thin Edge" Chests
  • George Nelson Rosewood "Thin Edge" Chests
  • George Nelson Rosewood "Thin Edge" Chests
H 33.5 in. W 34 in. D 18.5 in.
George Nelson Walnut One-Door 5 Drawers Gentleman's High Chest Dresser Cabinet
By Herman Miller, George Nelson
Located in Rockaway, NJ
Mid-Century Modern walnut George Nelson for Herman Miller Storage five drawers cabinet dresser gentleman's high chest.
Category

20th Century American Mid-Century Modern George Nelson

Materials

Walnut

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George Nelson Sellers

Liberty & 33rd
4.9 / 5
Retro Inferno
5 / 5
Original in Berlin
5 / 5
Horseman Antiques Inc.
4.9 / 5
Open Air Modern
4.5 / 5
Metro Retro Furniture MCM Furniture
4.6 / 5

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