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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Dimensions: 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 co...
Arthur Umanoff Desk Clock, George Nelson & Associates, 1950s
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...
Rare Glaze Meridian Clock by Bitossi & George Nelson for Howard Miller
Dimensions: H 14 in. W 14 in. D 2.5 in.
Dealer Location: Southampton, NJ
Materials & Techniques: Metal, Ceramic
Rare Glaze Meridian Clock by Bitossi & George Nels...
Bitossi, Howard Miller, George Nelson
Vintage 1960s Italian Mid-Century Modern Clocks
Metal, Ceramic
Rare glaze Bitossi & George Nelson wall clock for the Howard Miller clock company. This example is pristine and has it's original electric mechanism and works.
Dimensions: H 13 in. W 13 in. D 2.25 in.
Dealer Location: Southampton, NJ
Materials & Techniques: Metal, Ceramic
Rare Glaze Meridian Clock by Alvino Bagni & George...
Bitossi, Alvino Bagni, George Nelson
Vintage 1960s Italian Mid-Century Modern Clocks
Metal, Ceramic
Rare glaze wall clock by Alvino Bagni & George Nelson for the Howard Miller clock company. This example is in excellent condition except the hands have some paint loss and minor wear. I...
Mid-Century Modern George Nelson Table or Desk Clock for Howard Miller Clock Co
Dimensions: H 6.75 in. W 5.75 in. D 3.5 in.
Dealer Location: Philadelphia, PA
Materials & Techniques: Wood
Mid-Century Modern George Nelson Table or Desk Clo...
Howard Miller, George Nelson, George Nelson & Associates
Vintage 1950s American Mid-Century Modern Clocks
Wood
An uncommonly seen table clock designed by George Nelson for Howard Miller clock company. The clock is constructed of solid painted wood with nailhead markers. In excellent condition wi...
George Nelson Wall Clock
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 Spindle Clock
Dimensions: H 23 in. Dm 23 in.
Dealer Location: New York, NY
Materials & Techniques: Metal, Aluminum, Walnut
George Nelson Spindle Clock
George Nelson
Vintage 1950s American Mid-Century Modern Clocks
Metal, Aluminum, Walnut
George Nelson spindle wall clock. The clock was designed in the 1950s. Has sculpted walnut spindles and is battery operated. Great look for a Mid-Century Modern interior. The clock is i...
Dimensions: H 30 in. Dm 30 in.
Dealer Location: Buffalo, NY
Materials & Techniques: Metal, Brass, Wood
Rare Oversized Modern Spike Clock by George Nelson...
Howard Miller, George Nelson
Mid-20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Clocks
Metal, Brass, Wood
Rare Oversized Mid Century Modern spike clock designed by George Nelson, manufactured by Howard Miller, original pale yellow body, black painted wood spikes, brass face. These clocks pr...
George Nelson for Howard Miller Ball Clock, circa 1965
Dimensions: H 3 in. Dm 13 in.
Dealer Location: Newport Beach, CA
Materials & Techniques: Chrome, Bentwood
George Nelson for Howard Miller Ball Clock, circa ...
Howard Miller, George Nelson
Vintage 1960s American Mid-Century Modern Clocks
Chrome, Bentwood
Original George Nelson for Howard Miller, Zeeland, MI Ball clock in chrome and black with electric cord. All original hands including red second hand and cord. Working condition. Chrome...
George Nelson Wall Clock
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...
George Nelson Prototype Domino Clock
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.  
Rare George Nelson Floor Clock
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.
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....
Swag-Leg Grandfather Clock by George Nelson, 1957
Dimensions: H 5 ft. 10.9 in. W 14.17 in. D 10.24 in.
Dealer Location: Waalwijk, NL
Materials & Techniques: Brass, Velvet, Teak
Swag-Leg Grandfather Clock by George Nelson, 1957
Howard Miller, George Nelson
Vintage 1950s American Mid-Century Modern Clocks
Brass, Velvet, Teak
Grandfather clock, silver dial, black numerals and hands, teak wood with padded green velvet-covered background section, New York, 1957. This elegant grandfather clock by George Nelso...
Dimensions: H 6 ft. W 16 in. D 10 in.
Dealer Location: Buffalo, NY
Materials & Techniques: Metal, Glass, Rosewood, Burl
Rare George Nelson Howard Miller Burl and Rosewood...
Howard Miller, George Nelson
20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Clocks
Metal, Glass, Rosewood, Burl
George Nelson grandfather clock with weight driven movement in a modern burl wood and rosewood cabinet made by Howard Miller. Unusual Pentagon shape. Features lovely soft Westminster ch...
George Nelson for Howard Miller Wall Clock
On Hold
Dimensions: H 36 in. W 17 in. D 4 in.
Dealer Location: St. Louis, MO
George Nelson for Howard Miller Wall Clock
George Nelson
Mid-20th Century Mid-Century Modern Clocks
Designer: George Nelson Manufacturer: Howard Miller Period/style: Mid-Century Modern. Country: United States. Date: 1960s.
George Nelson for Howard Miller "Asterisk" Wall Clock
Dimensions: H 2.25 in. Dm 10 in.
Dealer Location: Fulton, CA
Materials & Techniques: Steel
George Nelson for Howard Miller "Asterisk" Wall Cl...
Howard Miller, George Nelson
Mid-20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Clocks
Steel
Vintage George Nelson "Asterisk" electric wall clock. Retains Howard Miller label. Uncommon white dial with black hands. Made of painted steel.
George Nelson Clock for Howard Miller
Dimensions: H 2.5 in. Dm 15 in.
Dealer Location: New York, NY
Materials & Techniques: Leather, Wood
George Nelson Clock for Howard Miller
Howard Miller, George Nelson
Vintage 1960s American Mid-Century Modern Clocks
Leather, Wood
George Nelson wall clock of Howard Miller. Model No. 2504. This clock has a wooden back with leather face and aluminium numbers.
Dimensions: H 4 ft. 11 in. Dm 12 in.
Dealer Location: Keego Harbor, MI
Materials & Techniques: Chrome
Mid-Century Modern Pendulum Clock by George Nelson...
Howard Miller, George Nelson
Vintage 1960s American Mid-Century Modern Clocks
Chrome
Pendulum wall-mounted clock by George Nelson for Howard Miller made of aluminium, chrome and Lucite. The face of the clock is 12" in diameter. When the weights are fully extended, the t...
George Nelson Sunflower Clock
Dimensions: H 2 in. Dm 30 in.
Dealer Location: San Francisco, CA
George Nelson Sunflower Clock
George Nelson
Vintage 1950s American Mid-Century Modern Clocks
Early example of George Nelson's design "Sunflower" clock for Howard Miller Clock Company. New quartz movement, very good vintage condition.
George Nelson Mini Grandfather Clock for Howard Miller
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.
George Nelson for Howard Miller Grandfather Clock, circa 1950
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...
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...
George Nelson Grandfather Clock by Herman Miller
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
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.
Pendulum Clock by George Nelson for Howard Miller
On Hold
On Hold
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...
Birchwood Wall Clock by George Nelson for Howard Miller
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...
Modernist Wall Clock by George Nelson
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 Howard Miller Walnut Case Wall Clock
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 Eye Clock
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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