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George Nelson Office Chairs and Desk Chairs

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. Nelson's studio also sold designs for clocks to the Howard Miller Clock Company, a manufacturer that was initially part of Herman Miller before it became an offshoot that was helmed by Howard Miller, D.J. De Pree's brother-in-law.

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 1stDibs, 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.

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Creator: George Nelson
Perch Stool in Black Leather by George Nelson and Robert Propst
By George Nelson
Located in Dronten, NL
Perch stool, drafting chair designed by George Nelson and Robert Propst. Black leather, chrome base. Vitra edition. Provenance; the German Bank for Doctors...
Category

Late 20th Century American Mid-Century Modern George Nelson Office Chairs and Desk Chairs

Materials

Aluminum, Steel

MCM Leather Perch Chair by George Nelson for Herman Miller
By Herman Miller, George Nelson
Located in Rio Vista, CA
Mid-Century Modern leather perch stool or chair designed by George Nelson for Herman Miller. Versatile chair with adjustable hand-stitched leather seat hav...
Category

20th Century American Mid-Century Modern George Nelson Office Chairs and Desk Chairs

Materials

Steel, Aluminum

George Nelson Desk or Office Chair, Very Rare, New Red Boucle Knoll Upholstery
By Herman Miller, George Nelson
Located in Kansas City, MO
Very rare George Nelson desk chair, freshly reupholstered in a crimson Knoll Classic boucle.
Category

1960s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage George Nelson Office Chairs and Desk Chairs

Materials

Aluminum

Dining or Desk Chair by Ernest Farmer for George Nelson and Associates
By Herman Miller, Ernest Farmer, George Nelson
Located in Littleton, CO
A rare birch dining or desk chair by Ernest Farmer of George Nelson and Associates for Herman Miller. Professional reupholstery available at pass-thro...
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage George Nelson Office Chairs and Desk Chairs

Materials

Upholstery, Birch

1960s Executive Desk Chair by George Nelson
By George Nelson
Located in Sagaponack, NY
A George Nelson designed rolling desk chair with orange fabric supported by a swivel base with casters. Manufactured by George Nelson and Associates in the 1960s. Newly reupholstered.
Category

Mid-20th Century American Mid-Century Modern George Nelson Office Chairs and Desk Chairs

Materials

Metal

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George Nelson office chairs and desk chairs for sale on 1stDibs.

George Nelson office chairs and desk chairs are available for sale on 1stDibs. These distinctive items are frequently made of metal and are designed with extraordinary care. There are many options to choose from in our collection of George Nelson office chairs and desk chairs, although red editions of this piece are particularly popular. Many of the original office chairs and desk chairs by George Nelson were created in the mid-century modern style in united states during the 20th century. If you’re looking for additional options, many customers also consider office chairs and desk chairs by Dunbar, Nicos Zographos, and Brickel Associates. Prices for George Nelson office chairs and desk chairs can differ depending upon size, time period and other attributes — on 1stDibs, these items begin at $660 and can go as high as $15,500, while a piece like these, on average, fetch $2,276.
Questions About George Nelson Office Chairs and Desk Chairs
  • 1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022
    George Nelson was a furniture designer central to the mid-century modern design movement. His best-known creations are the marshmallow sofa, coconut chair, ball clock and bubble lamp series. His style included sleek, thin-edge lines on a variety of furniture still available today. Shop a range of George Nelson furniture designs on 1stDibs.
  • 1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022
    George Nelson was an American designer, and for a time the lead designer for the famed Herman Miller furniture company. Nelson is often referred to as the founder of American modernist design and often associated with his more inspired pieces such as the Coconut Chair, Marshmallow Sofa and the Ball Clock. Shop a collection of George Nelson furniture designs from some of the world’s top sellers on 1stDibs.
  • 1stDibs ExpertMarch 22, 2022
    Modern George Nelson clocks are made in Poland. The company Vitra Designs manufactures the timepieces based on the original designs of the American designer who lived from 1908 to 1986. On 1stDibs, you can shop a selection of George Nelson clocks.
  • 1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022
    George Nelson Bubble Lamps are made of steel wires, which form a durable framework for the lamp. A plastic polymer material spread over the wires forms the shade which is translucent to give the lamp a soft glow. Inspired by Swedish lamps, these mid-century modern light fixtures are still made by the legendary furniture manufacturer Herman Miller today. Shop a range of George Nelson Bubble Lamps on 1stDibs.

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