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George Nelson

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George Nelson (1908-1986) was an extremely influential industrial designer, writer, and thinker whose designs are as popular today as perhaps they’ve ever been. Educated in architecture at Yale University in the 1920s, Nelson was a prolific writer on design. He wrote for Architectural Forum and Interiors and published the top-drawer books Tomorrow’s House, How to See: A Guide to Reading Our Man-Made Environment, and Building a New Europe: Portraits of Modern Architects. More important than his writing, however, was his work as an industrial designer. He had a close relationship with the Herman Miller furniture company, for which he served as creative director, which produced his famous works such as the bubble lamp, marshmallow sofa, swag leg desk and dozens of clocks. In 1959 he worked on the exhibition design of the American National Exhibition in Moscow, home of the famous “Kitchen Debate” between then US Vice President Nixon and Soviet Premier Nikita Kruschev. Nelson’s legacy lives on now and he has come to define mid-century American design like few others.

 

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Catenary Chairs

A pair of Model 6380 chrome-and-leather chairs by George Nelson, circa 1962. The manufacturer's label appears on the underside.

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Ceramic Clock Model No. 2 and No. 3

George Nelson might be best known for his Ball clock, but our man of the hour also designed a series of ceramic desk pieces in the early 1950s that never made it into production—until now.

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China Shop Tray

In 1944, Charles and Ray Eames, Alexander Girard, and George Nelson each designed trays--along with other simple household goods--featuring now iconic patterns. The classic trays, including Nelson's China Shop Tray, are available through Vitra.

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Criss Cross Bubble Lamp

A mid-century classic, the Bubble Lamp was first designed by George Nelson in 1947. These famous lamps are part of the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

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George Nelson Star Clock

Travel back in time to 1955 with this bronze and chrome clock by mid-century design legend George Nelson. The diameter of the Star clock reaches 24"—be sure to reserve for roomier walls.

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How To See by George Nelson

The multitalented George Nelson made a name for himself in architecture, industrial design, graphic design, and as the man who brought Charles Eames and Alexander Girard together at Herman Miller, but of his many talents, we believe his writing to be the greatest, and most under appreciated. How To See is the perfect primer for the uninitiated.
 

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Leather-and-Metal Desk

Created by George Nelson for Herman Miller around 1952, this desk features a hidden drawer with a three-tiered shelving system on one side and a perforated metal basket on the other. Twin sliding panels obscure more shelving space above the leather-topped desk surface.

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Petal Clock

Designed by George Nelson in the late 1950s, the Petal Clock has been re-released by Vitra.

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Pleated Star Wall Clock

This lacquered-wood-and-aluminum piece, created in 1955 by George Nelson, is signed with the manufacturer's label, and impressed with a model number.

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Swag Leg Chair

While the 1958 fiberglass originals fetch a steep prices on the collector’s market, today’s Swag Leg chair is easy to acquire and 100 percent recyclable.

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