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

Large George Nelson Slat Bench for Herman Miller
Large George Nelson Slat Bench for Herman Miller
George Nelson
Mid-20th Century Mid-Century Modern Benches
Designer: George Nelson Manufacture: Herman Miller Period/style: Mid-Century Modern Country: USA Date: 1950s.     
George Nelson Vanity Stool for Herman Miller
George Nelson Vanity Stool for Herman Miller
George Nelson
Mid-20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Stools
A satin aluminum based vanity stool with upholstered cushion and rubber / metal foot pads designed by George Nelson model #4672 produced in the early 1950's by the Herman Miller Furn...
George Nelson Pair of Red Cabinets
George Nelson Pair of Red Cabinets
Herman Miller, George Nelson
Vintage 1950s American Mid-Century Modern Cabinets
Wood, Teak
George Nelson for Herman Miller Zeeland Michigan, set of two cabinets in teak and patinated black wood, United States, 1950s. This set of cabinets present patinated red color doo...
George Nelson Thin Edge Eames Stereo Cabinet Credenza
George Nelson Thin Edge Eames Stereo Cabinet Cr...
George Nelson
Mid-20th Century Mid-Century Modern Cabinets
Designer: George Nelson / Eames Manufacture: Herman Miller Period/style: Mid-Century Modern Country: US Date: 1950s This incredibly rare piece has been carefully refinished...
Stereo Cabinet by George Nelson for Herman Miller
Stereo Cabinet by George Nelson for Herman Miller
Herman Miller, George Nelson
Mid-20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Cabinets
Oak
Stereo cabinet by George Nelson for Herman Miller. Original radio and record player intact. Two pieces.
Open-Arm Ebonized Lounge Chair by George Nelson for Herman Miller
Open-Arm Ebonized Lounge Chair by George Nelson...
Herman Miller, George Nelson
Vintage 1950s American Mid-Century Modern Lounge Chairs
Upholstery, Birch
Designed by George Nelson for Herman Miller, this rare armchair, model 4774, features an open ebonized birch frame. Its strong rectangular lines contrast with the angled cushioning o...
George Nelson Chest for Herman Miller Model 5517 Commode Sideboard 1952
George Nelson Chest for Herman Miller Model 551...
Herman Miller, George Nelson
Vintage 1950s American Mid-Century Modern Commodes and Chests of Drawers
Metal
George Nelson vertical chest of drawers commode for Herman Miller model 5517 sideboard 1952 The solid wood Nelson miniature chest, inspired by Japanese design, provides lots of wonde...
George Nelson Wall Unit or Bookcase in Rosewood for Mobilier International
George Nelson Wall Unit or Bookcase in Rosewood...
Mobilier International, George Nelson
Mid-20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Bookcases
Steel, Rosewood
Shelving unit or bookcases by George Nelson for Mobilier International. Shelves and boxes can be installed at your own convenience.  
Nightstands by George Nelson for Herman Miller
Nightstands by George Nelson for Herman Miller
George Nelson
Mid-20th Century Mid-Century Modern Night Stands
Nightstands by George Nelson for Herman Miller. Having unusual "Y" pulls on mahogany legs. Finished in two-tone lacquer, the case in Dark walnut, the shelf and legs in American walnut.
Vitra Eye Wall Clock in Brass and Walnut with Orange Hand by George Nelson
Vitra Eye Wall Clock in Brass and Walnut with O...
George Nelson, Vitra
21st Century and Contemporary Swiss Modern Wall Clocks
Wood, Brass
These items are currently only available in the United States. Belief in progress and growing economic prosperity were central aspects of the American way of life, circa 1950. Every...
Vitra Ball Wall Clock in Black & Brass with Black Hand by George Nelson
Vitra Ball Wall Clock in Black & Brass with Bla...
George Nelson, Vitra
21st Century and Contemporary Swiss Modern Wall Clocks
Metal
These items are currently only available in the United States. Belief in progress and growing economic prosperity were central aspects of the American way of life around 1950. Every...
Vitra Sunflower Wall Clock in Black Ash and Brass by George Nelson
Vitra Sunflower Wall Clock in Black Ash and Bra...
George Nelson, Vitra
21st Century and Contemporary Swiss Modern Wall Clocks
Metal
These items are currently only available in the United States. Belief in progress and growing economic prosperity were central aspects of the American way of life, circa 1950. Every...
Vitra Ball Wall Clock in Orange with Black Hand...
George Nelson, Vitra
21st Century and Contemporary Swiss Modern Wall Clocks
Metal
These items are currently only available in the United States. Belief in progress and growing economic prosperity were central aspects of the American way of life around 1950. Every...
Vitra Sunflower Wall Clock in Birch Wood by Geo...
George Nelson, Vitra
21st Century and Contemporary Swiss Modern Wall Clocks
Metal
These items are currently only available in the United States. Belief in progress and growing economic prosperity were central aspects of the American way of life around 1950. Every...
Vitra Miniature Marshmallow Sofa in White by Ge...
George Nelson, Vitra
21st Century and Contemporary Swiss Modern Sofas
Steel
These items are currently only available in the United States. For over two decades, the Vitra Design Museum has been making miniature replicas of milestones in furniture design fro...
Vitra Star Wall Clock in Chrome and Brass by Ge...
George Nelson, Vitra
21st Century and Contemporary Swiss Modern Wall Clocks
Metal
These items are currently only available in the United States. Belief in progress and growing economic prosperity were central aspects of the American way of life, circa 1950. Every...
Vitra Ball Wall Clock in Beech Wood & White wit...
George Nelson, Vitra
21st Century and Contemporary Swiss Modern Wall Clocks
Metal
These items are currently only available in the United States. Belief in progress and growing economic prosperity were central aspects of the American way of life around 1950. Every...
Vitra Ball Wall Clock in Multicolor Wood with B...
George Nelson, Vitra
21st Century and Contemporary Swiss Modern Wall Clocks
Metal
These items are currently only available in the United States. Belief in progress and growing economic prosperity were central aspects of the American way of life around 1950. Every...
Vitra Miniature Coconut Chair in Black with Chr...
George Nelson, Vitra
21st Century and Contemporary Swiss Modern Models and Miniatures
Plastic, Fiberglass
These items are currently only available in the United States. For over two decades, the Vitra Design Museum has been making miniature replicas of milestones in furniture design fro...
Vitra Ball Wall Clock in Red and White with Bla...
George Nelson, Vitra
21st Century and Contemporary Swiss Modern Wall Clocks
Metal
These items are currently only available in the United States. Belief in progress and growing economic prosperity were central aspects of the American way of life, circa 1950. Every...
Vitra Sunburst Wall Clock in Black by George Ne...
George Nelson, Vitra
21st Century and Contemporary Swiss Modern Wall Clocks
Metal
These items are currently only available in the United States. Belief in progress and growing economic prosperity were central aspects of the American way of life, circa 1950. Every...
Vitra Petal Wall Clock in Black & Brass by Geor...
George Nelson, Vitra
21st Century and Contemporary Swiss Modern Wall Clocks
Brass, Wood
These items are currently only available in the United States. Belief in progress and growing economic prosperity were central aspects of the American way of life around 1950. Every...
Vitra Turbine Wall Clock in Brass & Aluminum by...
George Nelson, Vitra
21st Century and Contemporary Swiss Modern Wall Clocks
Aluminum, Brass
These items are currently only available in the United States. Belief in progress and growing economic prosperity were central aspects of the American way of life around 1950. Every...
Vitra Sunburst Multicolor Wall Clock by George ...
George Nelson, Vitra
21st Century and Contemporary Swiss Modern Wall Clocks
Metal
These items are currently only available in the United States. Belief in progress and growing economic prosperity were central aspects of the American way of life around 1950. Every...
Vitra Flock of Butterflies Wall Clock in Alumin...
George Nelson, Vitra
21st Century and Contemporary Swiss Modern Wall Clocks
Wood, Aluminum
These items are currently only available in the United States. Belief in progress and growing economic prosperity were central aspects of the American way of life, circa 1950. Every...
Vitra Diamond Desk Clock in Wood and Brass by G...
George Nelson, Vitra
21st Century and Contemporary Swiss Modern Table Clocks and Desk Clocks
Brass, Wood
These items are currently only available in the United States. Belief in progress and growing economic prosperity were central aspects of the American way of life, circa 1950. Every...
Vitra Cone Desk Clock in White & Black with Ora...
George Nelson, Vitra
21st Century and Contemporary Swiss Modern Table Clocks and Desk Clocks
These items are currently only available in the United States. Belief in progress and growing economic prosperity were central aspects of the American way of life around 1950. Every...
Vitra Wheel Wall Clock in Wood & Aluminum by Ge...
George Nelson, Vitra
21st Century and Contemporary Swiss Modern Wall Clocks
Aluminum, Wood
These items are currently only available in the United States. Belief in progress and growing economic prosperity were central aspects of the American way of life around 1950. Every...
Vitra Spindle Wall Clock in Solid Walnut & Alum...
George Nelson, Vitra
21st Century and Contemporary Swiss Modern Wall Clocks
Metal
These items are currently only available in the United States. Belief in progress and growing economic prosperity were central aspects of the American way of life around 1950. Every...
Vitra Tripod Desk Clock in Brass & Glass by Geo...
George Nelson, Vitra
21st Century and Contemporary Swiss Modern Table Clocks and Desk Clocks
Brass, Glass
These items are currently only available in the United States. Belief in progress and growing economic prosperity were central aspects of the American way of life around 1950. Every...
Rare George Nelson Cylinder Table Lamp for Howa...
Howard Miller, Isamu Noguchi, George Nelson
Vintage 1950s American Mid-Century Modern Table Lamps
Metal
Rare George Nelson Cylinder table lamp for Howard Miller. Executed in polymer webbing over a metal grid and metal legs. An extremely unusual iteration of Nelson's innovative and icon...
Classic George Nelson Herman Miller Walnut Chest
George Nelson
Vintage 1950s American Mid-Century Modern Cabinets
A Classic George Nelson for Herman Miller large scale dresser. Medium/dark walnut, original finish with great patina.
Early 1960s George Nelson for Knoll Coconut Lou...
George Nelson
Mid-20th Century Mid-Century Modern Lounge Chairs
Early version of George Nelson's design for Knoll coconut lounge chair. Aluminum legs. Original orange Knoll fabric. Iconic chair ready to upholster in your favorite fabric. Priced...
Mid Century Modern Upholstered Cantilever Daybe...
Herman Miller, George Nelson
Mid-20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Daybeds
Leather, Fabric, Wood
Low profile, mid century modern, daybed sofa attributed to George Nelson for Herman Miller features a cantilever side surface with rail back and side finished in black satin lacquer ...
George Nelson Drop Front Bar for Herman Miller
George Nelson
Vintage 1960s American Mid-Century Modern Cabinets
Classic Mid-Century Modern combed oak cabinet with drop front bar. Sits on the famous George Nelson slat bench. Two bottom drawers, side cabinet with shelves. Designer label inside. ...
George Nelson Walnut Basic Cabinet Group Dressers
Herman Miller, George Nelson
Vintage 1950s American Mid-Century Modern Dressers
Walnut
George Nelson's classic casegood design, the "Basic Cabinet Series" was offered in a range of sizes and configurations with a selection of pulls and leg options. These three cabinets...
George Nelson Side Table Herman Miller
Herman Miller, George Nelson
Early 2000s American Mid-Century Modern Side Tables
Aluminum, Wood
A classic and timeless table design by George Nelson for Herman Miller.
George Nelson Maple and Chrome Platform Bench M...
Herman Miller, George Nelson
Mid-20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Benches
Chrome, Maple
A fine example of a spare form maple platform bench with chrome legs, first designed in 1946 by George Nelson for Herman Miller, has become one of the great icons for Mid-Century Mod...
Sideboard or Credenza by George Nelson for Herm...
Herman Miller, George Nelson
Vintage 1950s American Mid-Century Modern Credenzas
Aluminum, Steel, Lacquer
George Nelson, Herman Miller, USA, circa 1949-1952 Black lacquer, birch, aluminum, steel Measures: 56.25" wide, 18.5" deep and 32.25" tall. Condition is like new. Entirely rest...
George Nelson Home Desk for Herman Miller
Herman Miller, George Nelson
Vintage 1940s American Modern Desks and Writing Tables
Steel, Leather, Walnut
Walnut with original custom white leather writing surface and sliding floating doors, small drawers in maple. Storage and drop down typing table with original perforated aluminum fil...
Rare George Nelson Walnut Dining Table
Herman Miller, George Nelson
Vintage 1950s American Mid-Century Modern Dining Room Tables
Walnut
This is an extremely rare and beautiful dining table by George Nelson for Herman Miller. Fully restored and in excellent condition. There are two self-storing leaves which are concea...
Model 5451 Pedestal Side Table by George Nelson...
Herman Miller, George Nelson
Vintage 1960s American Mid-Century Modern Side Tables
Steel
Model 5452 pedestal side table by George Nelson for Herman Miller featuring the iconic slopped top and root like 4 foot base.
Model 5452 Pedestal Coffee Table by George Nels...
Herman Miller, George Nelson
Vintage 1950s American Mid-Century Modern Coffee and Cocktail Tables
Steel, Composition
Model 5452 pedestal coffee table by George Nelson for Herman Miller featuring the iconic slopped top and root like 4-foot base.
Herman Miller George Nelson Basic Cabinet Serie...
Herman Miller, George Nelson
Vintage 1950s American Mid-Century Modern Dressers
Steel, Walnut
Rare George Nelson designed classic for Herman Miller, circa 1952. Features the original, coveted squiggly hardware. One of three case pieces of this set that we are selling this wee...
Herman Miller George Nelson Five Drawer Dresser...
Herman Miller, George Nelson
Vintage 1950s American Mid-Century Modern Commodes and Chests of Drawers
Steel, Walnut
Rare George Nelson designed classic for Herman Miller circa 1952. Features the original, coveted squiggly hardware. One of three case pieces of this set that we are selling this week...
Herman Miller George Nelson Designed Dresser Ch...
Herman Miller, George Nelson
Vintage 1950s American Mid-Century Modern Commodes and Chests of Drawers
Steel, Walnut
Rare George Nelson designed classic for Herman Miller, circa 1952. Features the original, coveted squiggly hardware. One of three case pieces of this set that we are selling this wee...
Mid-Century Modern Herman Miller George Nelson ...
Herman Miller, George Nelson
Vintage 1950s American Mid-Century Modern Bookcases
Glass, Walnut
Walnut George Nelson bookcase with sliding glass doors and top and bottom. Piece comes with top and bottom for ease of movement, circa 1950s.
George Nelson Slat Bench or Coffee Table
George Nelson
Mid-20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Benches
George Nelson slat bench with absolutely incredible vintage patina. We estimate this to be from the 1950s. From a cape cod estate.
Vintage 1949 Mid-Century Modern Custom L-Shaped...
Herman Miller, George Nelson
Vintage 1940s American Mid-Century Modern Desks
Aluminum, Walnut, Plywood
This remarkable piece is a one-off desk/wardrobe/bar/bookcase/storage cabinet custom-designed by George Nelson in 1949 to match his Basic Cabinet Series (BCS) for Herman Miller. The ...
Miniature Chest, Model No. 5211 by George Nelson
George Nelson
Mid-20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Cabinets
Rosewood, Walnut
Miniature chest, Model No. 5211, in walnut and rosewood with painted door. Designed by George Nelson and produced by Herman Miller, USA, circa 1955.
Mid-Century Modern Vintage Large Slat Bench Geo...
Herman Miller, George Nelson
Vintage 1950s American Mid-Century Modern Benches
Maple
For your consideration is an incredible, original, slat bench, made of maple and black lacquered maple, by George Nelson for Herman Miller, circa the 1950s.This is the original vinta...
Exceptional Rare Custom Rosewood Executive Cred...
Herman Miller, George Nelson
Vintage 1970s American Mid-Century Modern Credenzas
Steel, Chrome, Rosewood, Lacquer
George Nelson, Herman Miller custom piece circa 1974 Rosewood top with black lacquer frame Rosewood, walnut, chrome, steel Measure: 26.75 tall by 18.5 deep and 74.15 inches wide....
George Nelson for Herman Miller Ebony Extra Lar...
Herman Miller, George Nelson
Vintage 1950s American Mid-Century Modern Benches
George Nelson for Herman Miller ebony long slat bench.
Vitra Zoo Timers Omar the Owl Wall Clock in Nav...
George Nelson, Vitra
21st Century and Contemporary Swiss Modern Wall Clocks
Wood
These items are currently only available in the United States. As a truly multi-talented designer, George Nelson was also successful as a graphic designer. His Zoo Timers – animals ...
Vitra Asterisk Wall Clock in Black by George Ne...
George Nelson, Vitra
21st Century and Contemporary Swiss Modern Wall Clocks
Metal
These items are currently only available in the United States. Belief in progress and growing economic prosperity were central aspects of the American way of life around 1950. Every...
Vitra Zoo Timers Elihu the Elephant Wall Clock ...
George Nelson, Vitra
21st Century and Contemporary Swiss Modern Wall Clocks
Wood
These items are currently only available in the United States. As a truly multi-talented designer, George Nelson was also successful as a graphic designer. His Zoo Timers – animals ...
Vitra Zoo Timers Fernando the Fish Wall Clock i...
George Nelson, Vitra
21st Century and Contemporary Swiss Modern Wall Clocks
Wood
These items are currently only available in the United States. As a truly multi-talented designer, George Nelson was also successful as a graphic designer. His Zoo Timers, animals d...
Vitra Ball Wall Clock in Wood and Brass with Bl...
George Nelson, Vitra
21st Century and Contemporary Swiss Modern Wall Clocks
Metal
These items are currently only available in the United States. Belief in progress and growing economic prosperity were central aspects of the American way of life, circa 1950. Every...
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