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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
$2,873
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
Original George Nelson for Howard Miller Black 'Asterisk' Wall Clock, circa 1960
By Irving Harper, George Nelson, Howard Miller
Located in Los Angeles, CA
This Asterisk Clock by George Nelson Associates for Howard Miller is a rare find and one of the more in-demand of his designs. The black steel face, mounted on a metal back, is free ...
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage George Nelson

Materials

Steel, Brass

Charles Pollack for Knoll Orange Tweed Executive Chair w/ Height Tension Knob
By Charles Pollock, George Nelson, Knoll
Located in Chattanooga, TN
7 chairs available. Each sold separately Vintage 1979 executive chairs designed by Charles Pollock for Knoll. The chairs come in their burnt orange upholstery, a perfect mid-cent...
Category

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

Materials

Stainless Steel

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

Irving Harper Toothpick Construction Dome
By Irving Harper, George Nelson
Located in Chicago, IL
Irving Harper toothpick construction dome. Hand constructed out of toothpicks, Harper the genius of George Nelson Design for Herman Miller, who created the most iconic award winning...
Category

1970s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage George Nelson

Materials

Wood

  • Irving Harper Toothpick Construction Dome
  • Irving Harper Toothpick Construction Dome
  • Irving Harper Toothpick Construction Dome
  • Irving Harper Toothpick Construction Dome
H 13.25 in. W 22.5 in. D 22.5 in.
Lounge Chair MAA, Charles Pollock/George Nelson Associates, Herman Miller, 1958
By Charles Pollock, Herman Miller, George Nelson
Located in Munster, NRW
The MAA is the lounge chair version of the Swag leg chair series. Designed by Charles Pollock for George Nelsons Associates in 1954, this chair was only produced from 1958-1964. It i...
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage George Nelson

Materials

Metal

Pair of Herman Miller Perchs Designed by George Nelson
By George Nelson
Located in Mexico City, CDMX
We offer this pair of George Nelson Perchs, includes Herman Miller original label, circa 1980. About the Perch: Designed in 1964 as part of the flexible, open, action office pr...
Category

1980s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage George Nelson

Materials

Aluminum

Mid Century George Nelson Herman Miller Long Slatted Bench Black Lacquer
By George Nelson, Herman Miller
Located in BROOKLYN, NY
Beautiful Mid Century George Nelson Herman Miller long slatted bench black lacquer 92" Long Slatted coffee table or bench. Good vintage condition was original Black Lacquer may have ...
Category

1960s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage George Nelson

Materials

Maple, Lacquer

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

Browse all Furniture from George Nelson
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George Nelson Sellers

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

Creators Similar to George Nelson

George Nelson Furniture for sale on 1stDibs.

The George Nelson furniture is available for sale on 1stDibs. These distinctive objects are often made of wood and designed with extraordinary care. In our collection of George Nelson furniture there are many options to choose from, although brown editions of this piece are particularly popular. We stock 387 vintage versions of these items, while there is 0 modern edition to choose from as well. Many of the original George Nelson furniture was created in the Mid-Century Modern style in North America during the 20th century. Many customers also consider Furniture by Florence Knoll, Mastercraft and Paul McCobb if you’re looking for additional options. 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..