George Nelson Furniture

George Nelson (USA, 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. Depree, the owner of the furniture maker Herman Miller Inc., 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.

Read more about George Nelson in Introspective Magazine

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George Nelson, Thin Edge Drop-Front Secretary
Modern Drama
Walnut Credenza by George Nelson for Herman Miller
Sputnik Modern
Floor Lamp by George Nelson with Linen Shade
Rare Pedestal Table in Rosewood by George Nelson
Thin Edge Credenza by George Nelson
Frank Landau - Selected Design Objects & Fine Art
George Nelson Dresser for Herman Miller 1952
Just in Modern
George Nelson Rosewood Thin Edge Credenza
George Nelson Cabinet for Herman Miller
1950 George Nelson One-Drawer Nightstand
Neven + Neven Moderne
George Nelson Miniature Jewelry Chest
George Nelson Rosewood Thin Edge Dresser
Lost City Arts
George Nelson Rosewood Thin Edge Dresser
Lost City Arts
Executive Desk by George Nelson for Herman Miller
The Hudson Mercantile
George Nelson cerused oak chest of drawers
reGeneration Furniture Inc.
George Nelson Black Lacquer Bench
Strawser & Smith Inc
George Nelson Sofa for Herman Miller
Rooms and Gardens, Inc.
Swag Leg Desk by George Nelson
Fresh Kills
1950 George Nelson 3 Drawer Steel Frame Desk
Neven + Neven Moderne
George Nelson Day Bed
Grinard Collection
George Nelson Executive Office System
Mainly Art Vintage Modern Furniture
George Nelson Gate Leg Dining Table
Fresh Kills
George Nelson Loveseat Sofa by Herman Miller
District Modern
George Nelson Chest for Herman Miller
Reeves Antiques
George Nelson Sunburst ClockOn Hold
Art of Vintage
George Nelson Desk or Dining Table
Fancyman Productions
Low Sitting Herman Miller Desk
AD LIB Antiques
George Nelson Platner Stand for Herman Miller
Morristown Modern
Mid-Century Modern George Nelson Roll Top Desk
Get Back Inc
George Nelson Sofa
Two Cabinets by George Nelson for Herman Miller
Deposito A
George Nelson Coconut Chair
George Nelson Dresser Suite
Pair of George Nelson Chests for Herman Miller
Pair of George Nelson Chest of Drawers
Pair of George Nelson Bedside CabinetsOn Hold
Corinne Robbins
Mid-Century Drop Leaf Table By George Nelson
Horseman Antiques Inc.
George Nelson Action Office 1 Roll Top Desk
George Nelson Style Wood Slat Bench/Coffee TableOn Hold
Harveys on Beverly