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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Meridian Clock for Raymor Designed by George Nelson
Meridian Clock for Raymor Designed by George Nelson
Offered by Idealforms
Dimensions: H 1.25 in. Dm 14 in.
Dealer Location: BROOKLYN, NY
Meridian Clock for Raymor Designed by George Nelso...
Bitossi, Howard Miller, George Nelson
Vintage 1950s Italian Mid-Century Modern Clocks
Striking Mid-Century Bitossi ceramic wall clock by Howard Miller and designed by George Nelson. This particular design is very rare. All original condition.
Meridian Clock for Raymor Designed by George Nelson
Meridian Clock for Raymor Designed by George Nelson
Offered by Idealforms
Dimensions: H 1.25 in. Dm 14 in.
Dealer Location: BROOKLYN, NY
Meridian Clock for Raymor Designed by George Nelso...
Bitossi, Howard Miller, George Nelson
Vintage 1950s Italian Mid-Century Modern Clocks
Striking Bitossi ceramic wall clock by Howard Miller and designed by George Nelson. All original condition.
Rare George Nelson Floor Clock
Rare George Nelson Floor Clock
Offered by Idealforms
Dimensions: H 30.25 in. Dm 7.5 in.
Dealer Location: BROOKLYN, NY
Materials & Techniques: Chrome
Rare George Nelson Floor Clock
Howard Miller, George Nelson
Vintage 1960s American Mid-Century Modern Clocks
Chrome
Rare George Nelson floor clock for Howard Miller. Chrome ball face on a tulip base. A truly stunning clock seldom seen.
Meridian Clock for Raymor Designed by George Nelson
Meridian Clock for Raymor Designed by George Nelson
Offered by ModTiques
Dimensions: H 14 in. Dm 14 in.
Dealer Location: Southampton, NJ
Materials & Techniques: Ceramic, Steel
Meridian Clock for Raymor Designed by George Nelso...
Raymor, George Nelson
Vintage 1950s American Mid-Century Modern Clocks
Ceramic, Steel
Ceramic wall clock having Bitossi Rimini Blue style design in a glazed ceramic body. George Nelson clock components by Howard Miller clock company.
George Nelson Chronopak Desk Clock
George Nelson Chronopak Desk Clock
Offered by Open Air Modern
Dimensions: H 7 in. Dm 5 in.
Dealer Location: Brooklyn, NY
George Nelson Chronopak Desk Clock
Howard Miller, George Nelson
Vintage 1950s Mid-Century Modern Clocks
Scarce, Chronopak desk clock designed by George Nelson for Howard Miller. Spherical walnut body has a pretty wood selection, and floating chrome base adorns an attractive, faint patina....
George Nelson Mini Grandfather Clock for Howard Miller
George Nelson Mini Grandfather Clock for Howard Miller
Offered by Modest Designs
Dimensions: H 38 in. W 9 in. D 9 in.
Dealer Location: Hudson, NY
George Nelson Mini Grandfather Clock for Howard Mi...
Howard Miller, George Nelson
Vintage 1950s American Clocks
Beautiful half-height tabletop grandfather clock in rosewood. Designed by George Nelson for Howard Miller clock company. Wind-up mechanism. Weights and pendulum are purely decorative.
"Swag-Leg" Grandfather Clock by George Nelson
"Swag-Leg" Grandfather Clock by George Nelson
Offered by MORENTZ
Dimensions: H 5 ft. 10.9 in. W 15.75 in. D 11.81 in.
Dealer Location: Waalwijk, NL
"Swag-Leg" Grandfather Clock by George Nelson
Howard Miller, George Nelson
Vintage 1950s American Mid-Century Modern Clocks
Elegant "swag-leg" grandfather clock by George Nelson for Howard Miller. This model (#2256) is chain driven. The mechanism is made in Germany by Hermie. Please note the nice contras...
George Nelson for Howard Miller Grandfather Clock, circa 1950
George Nelson for Howard Miller Grandfather Clock, circa 1950
Offered by Automaton
Dimensions: H 4 ft. 8.5 in. W 14 in. D 10 in.
Dealer Location: Culver City, CA
Materials & Techniques: Lucite, Wood
George Nelson for Howard Miller Grandfather Clock,...
Howard Miller, George Nelson
Vintage 1950s American Mid-Century Modern Clocks
Lucite, Wood
A Mid-Century Grandfather clock, designed by George Nelson for Howard Miller, Model No. 622. A wooden frame with rounded corners borders the smoked Lucite panes, displaying the inner wo...
Mid-Century Modern Vintage Original George Nelson Wall Clock for Howard Miller
Mid-Century Modern Vintage Original George Nelson Wall Clock for Howard Miller
Offered by At Home Modern
Dimensions: H 2.5 in. Dm 19 in.
Dealer Location: Philadelphia, PA
Materials & Techniques: Metal, Brass, Wood
Mid-Century Modern Vintage Original George Nelson ...
Howard Miller, George Nelson, George Nelson & Associates
Vintage 1950s American Mid-Century Modern Clocks
Metal, Brass, Wood
Early original starburst clock design by George Nelson and manufactured by Howard Miller Clock Company. It features brass inner body with black wooden spikes. Plugs into standard outlet...
Ceramic Meridian Wall Clock by George Nelson Howard Miller Raymor
Ceramic Meridian Wall Clock by George Nelson Howard Miller Raymor
Offered by pghModern
Dimensions: H 2.5 in. Dm 11 in.
Dealer Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Materials & Techniques: Metal, Ceramic
Ceramic Meridian Wall Clock by George Nelson Howar...
George Nelson
Mid-20th Century Italian Mid-Century Modern Clocks
Metal, Ceramic
Beautiful clock designed by George Nelson and made in Italy by Raymor for the Meridian Clock Division of Howard Miller, Original tags on the back.
George Nelson Grandfather Clock by Herman Miller
George Nelson Grandfather Clock by Herman Miller
Offered by Horseman Antiques Inc.
Dimensions: H 7 ft. 6 in. W 5 ft. D 13 in.
Dealer Location: Brooklyn, NY
Materials & Techniques: Oak
George Nelson Grandfather Clock by Herman Miller
Herman Miller, George Nelson
Vintage 1950s American Mid-Century Modern Clocks
Oak
Rare unit featuring a Nelson ball clock, storage cubby, and open rack plank on side. Please confirm item location (NY or NJ) with dealer.
George Nelson Clock for Howard Miller
George Nelson Clock for Howard Miller
Offered by pghModern
Dimensions: H 2.75 in. Dm 19 in.
Dealer Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Materials & Techniques: Brass, Wood
George Nelson Clock for Howard Miller
George Nelson
Vintage 1950s American Mid-Century Modern Clocks
Brass, Wood
Beautiful brass and wood clock designed by George Nelson for the Howard Miller clock company.
George Nelson Swagleg Grandfather Clock
George Nelson Swagleg Grandfather Clock
Offered by Studio 111
On Hold
Dimensions: H 5 ft. 11 in. W 13.5 in. D 12 in.
Dealer Location: Cathedral City, CA
George Nelson Swagleg Grandfather Clock
George Nelson
Vintage 1950s American Mid-Century Modern Clocks
Manufactured by the Howard Miller clock Co. Model # 2256. Brass legs, walnut veneer, tufted velvet backdrop. This is a windup clock, key included.
Pendulum Clock by George Nelson for Howard Miller
Pendulum Clock by George Nelson for Howard Miller
Offered by Palm Beach Antique and Design Center
Dimensions: H 31 in. Dm 12 in.
Dealer Location: West Palm Beach, FL
Materials & Techniques: Aluminum, Chrome, Lucite
Pendulum Clock by George Nelson for Howard Miller
Herman Miller, George Nelson
Vintage 1960s American Mid-Century Modern Clocks
Aluminum, Chrome, Lucite
Pendulum wall-mounted clock by George Nelson for Howard Miller made of aluminum, chrome and Lucite. The clock has been professionally serviced in 2016. The face of the clock is 12" in d...
Vintage George Nelson White Ball Clock
Vintage George Nelson White Ball Clock
Offered by Architectural Anarchy
Dimensions: H 3 in. Dm 13 in.
Dealer Location: Chicago, IL
Materials & Techniques: Brass, Wood
Vintage George Nelson White Ball Clock
George Nelson
Vintage 1950s American Mid-Century Modern Clocks
Brass, Wood
Vintage George Nelson white ball clock.
George Nelson Ball Clock for Howard Miller
George Nelson Ball Clock for Howard Miller
Offered by AWK DESIGN ANTIQUES
Dimensions: H 2.75 in. Dm 13.5 in.
Dealer Location: Stamford, CT
George Nelson Ball Clock for Howard Miller
Howard Miller, George Nelson
Vintage 1950s Clocks
In good working order, very clean original "Ball Clock," circa 1950s. With brushed brass face and blond wood balls.
Arthur Umanoff Desk Clock, George Nelson & Associates, 1950s
Arthur Umanoff Desk Clock, George Nelson & Associates, 1950s
Offered by The Exchange Int
Dimensions: H 5.5 in. Dm 4.25 in.
Dealer Location: Houston, TX
Materials & Techniques: Rosewood, Steel
Arthur Umanoff Desk Clock, George Nelson & Associa...
Howard Miller, George Nelson
Vintage 1950s American Mid-Century Modern Clocks
Rosewood, Steel
George Nelson & Associates table clock. Howard Miller Clock Company, USA. Rosewood, steel. Measures: 4.25 W x 3 D x 5.5 H inches. Signed with decal manufacturer's label to r...
Vintage George Nelson Ball Clock for Howard Miller
Vintage George Nelson Ball Clock for Howard Miller
Offered by Gallery 2112
Dimensions: H 2.5 in. Dm 13 in.
Dealer Location: Washington, DC
Materials & Techniques: Brass, Wood
Vintage George Nelson Ball Clock for Howard Miller...
George Nelson
Vintage 1950s American Mid-Century Modern Clocks
Brass, Wood
Classic vintage ball clock designed by George Nelson for Herman Miller. Clock is 100% original and in good working condition.
George Nelson Meridian Wall Clock Rimini Blue Face by Aldo Londi for Bitossi
George Nelson Meridian Wall Clock Rimini Blue Face by Aldo Londi for Bitossi
Offered by City Foundry
Dimensions: H 1.5 in. Dm 14.25 in.
Dealer Location: Brooklyn, NY
Materials & Techniques: Ceramic
George Nelson Meridian Wall Clock Rimini Blue Face...
Bitossi, Aldo Londi, George Nelson
Vintage 1950s American Mid-Century Modern Clocks
Ceramic
“Meridian” clock designed by George Nelson for the Howard Miller Clock Company. Face is made of “Rimini Blue” Italian ceramic designed by Aldo Londi for Bitossi, battery operated....
Birchwood Wall Clock by George Nelson for Howard Miller
Birchwood Wall Clock by George Nelson for Howard Miller
Offered by Automaton
Dimensions: H 3 in. Dm 14 in.
Dealer Location: Culver City, CA
Materials & Techniques: Birch
Birchwood Wall Clock by George Nelson for Howard M...
Howard Miller, George Nelson
Vintage 1950s American Mid-Century Modern Clocks
Birch
This modernist wall clock is an original design by George Nelson for Howard Miller. Roman numerals and lined notches mark the round light birch wood face of the clock. From the black pl...
Geometric Wall Clock by George Nelson for Howard Miller
Geometric Wall Clock by George Nelson for Howard Miller
Offered by Automaton
Dimensions: H 3 in. Dm 9 in.
Dealer Location: Culver City, CA
Materials & Techniques: Plastic
Geometric Wall Clock by George Nelson for Howard M...
Howard Miller, George Nelson
Vintage 1960s American Mid-Century Modern Clocks
Plastic
A geometric wall clock by George Nelson for Howard Miller. The hands that keep the time on this atomic piece are a blue and red circle, a long white hand, and a yellow diamond. Encompas...
Meridian Ceramic Clock by Raymor for Howard Miller
Meridian Ceramic Clock by Raymor for Howard Miller
Offered by The Modern Vault
Dimensions: H 1 in. Dm 13 in.
Dealer Location: Newport Beach, CA
Materials & Techniques: Ceramic
Meridian Ceramic Clock by Raymor for Howard Miller...
Howard Miller, George Nelson
Vintage 1960s American Mid-Century Modern Clocks
Ceramic
Designed by George Nelson and crafted in Italy by the Raymor company, this beautiful clock was made for the Meridian Clock Division of Howard Miller, Zeeland, Michigan. Original tags on...
Two Mid-Century Modern Howard Miller George Nelson Clocks
Two Mid-Century Modern Howard Miller George Nelson Clocks
Offered by Visiona
Dimensions: H 2.75 in. Dm 13 in.
Dealer Location: Miami, FL
Materials & Techniques: Glass, Rosewood
Two Mid-Century Modern Howard Miller George Nelson...
George Nelson
Mid-20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Clocks
Glass, Rosewood
One round clock rosewood face with alum. Round circles for numbers and alum. Perimeter. Original electric clock mechanism. Measures: 13" dia. 2.75" deep. One square clock Italian gla...
Modernist Wall Clock by George Nelson
Modernist Wall Clock by George Nelson
Offered by WYETH
Dimensions: H 4 in. Dm 14 in.
Dealer Location: New York, NY
Materials & Techniques: Steel, Wood
Modernist Wall Clock by George Nelson
Howard Miller, George Nelson
Vintage 1950s American Mid-Century Modern Clocks
Steel, Wood
A modernist wall clock having a figured birch body with Roman numerals and a black center with graphically contrasting white and red hands.
George Nelson Prototype Domino Clock
George Nelson Prototype Domino Clock
Offered by CONVERSO
Dimensions: H 2 in. Dm 12 in.
Dealer Location: New York, NY
George Nelson Prototype Domino Clock
George Nelson
Vintage 1950s American Mid-Century Modern Clocks
Nelson office, designed by Irving Harper for Howard Miller. This is the only clock and was never produced. Purchased from Howard Miller Executive.  
George Nelson Wall Clock
George Nelson Wall Clock
Offered by DeAngelis
Dimensions: H 3 in. Dm 14 in.
Dealer Location: San Francisco, CA
Materials & Techniques: Metal, Wood
George Nelson Wall Clock
Howard Miller, George Nelson
Vintage 1950s American Clocks
Metal, Wood
George Nelson wall clock for Howard Miller Clock Company of Zeeland, Michigan. Plug powered. Label intact.
George Nelson Howard Miller Walnut Case Wall Clock
George Nelson Howard Miller Walnut Case Wall Clock
Offered by Tom Gibbs Studio
On Hold
Dimensions: H 36.25 in. W 17 in. D 4.75 in.
Dealer Location: Ferndale, MI
Materials & Techniques: Acrylic, Chrome, Walnut
George Nelson Howard Miller Walnut Case Wall Clock...
George Nelson
Vintage 1960s American Mid-Century Modern Clocks
Acrylic, Chrome, Walnut
George Nelson Howard Miller walnut case wall clock . Key wind up keeps excellent time . Does not chime .
George Nelson Wall Clock
George Nelson Wall Clock
Offered by Pierson
Dimensions: H 3 in. Dm 14 in.
Dealer Location: San Mateo, CA
Materials & Techniques: Birch, Metal
George Nelson Wall Clock
Howard Miller, George Nelson
Vintage 1950s American Mid-Century Modern Clocks
Birch, Metal
Wall clock designed by the George Nelson office for Howard Miller. This clock is electric and retains a partial original label on the back. The clock is made of birch and the markers ar...
Original George Nelson Tripod Clock
Original George Nelson Tripod Clock
Offered by Douglas Rosin Decorative Arts & Antiques
Original George Nelson Tripod Clock
Offered by Douglas Rosin Decorative Arts & Antiques
Dimensions: H 6 1/8 W 4 1/4 D 3 in.
Dealer Location: Chicago, IL
Materials & Techniques: Lucite, Brass
Original George Nelson Tripod Clock
Howard Miller, George Nelson
Vintage 1940s American Clocks
Lucite, Brass
This is an original George Nelson Tripod Clock for Howard Miller. This was Nelson's first desk clock and is signed "Howard Miller Clock Company,Zeeland Michigan" on the back.
Azure Ceramic 'Meridian' Clock for Raymor
Azure Ceramic 'Meridian' Clock for Raymor
Offered by Dual
Dimensions: D 2.5 in. Dm 14 in.
Dealer Location: New York, NY
Azure Ceramic 'Meridian' Clock for Raymor
Howard Miller, George Nelson
Vintage 1950s Italian Clocks
A ceramic clock with a Bitossi Rimini Blue style design of impressed geometric forms and glazed in azure and light green. Ceramic body made in Italy, designed by George Nelson, clock c...
George Nelson Eye Clock
George Nelson Eye Clock
Offered by Galere
Dimensions: H 13.5 in. W 30.25 in. D 2.5 in.
Dealer Location: West Palm Beach, FL
George Nelson Eye Clock
George Nelson
20th Century American Clocks
George Nelson "Eye" Clock model # 2238,Herman Miller Original finish
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