George Nelson Desk from a National Historic Landmark Eero Saarinen Building

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A walnut four-drawer desk with aluminium J pulls, chromed steel legs, woven privacy panel and topped in white Laminate fitted for a bank building. The National Historic Landmark was designed by Eero Saarinen and was completed in 1954 using furniture custom fitted for the site by the Herman Miller Furniture Company. This desk and other pieces were saved from this structure and will come with documentation about the provenance and historic importance. The measurement for the width of the knee hole opening is 22.25" across.
George Nelson (Designer)
Of the Period
Mid-Century Modern
Place of Origin
United States
Date of Manufacture
Mid-20th Century
Good. In very good vintage condition with some normal patina from age and use, there have been professional repairs and touch ups made to the wood surfaces..
Wear consistent with age and use
29.75 in. H x 60 in. W x 30.13 in. D
76 cm H x 152 cm W x 77 cm D
Dealer Location
Cincinnati, OH
Number of Items
Reference Number

About George Nelson (Designer)

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

Mainly Art Vintage Modern Furniture
3711 Madison Rd.
Cincinnati OH 45209
(513) 657-1860
1stdibs Dealer since 2012 Located in Cincinnati, OH
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