George Nelson & Associates
Thin Edge Cabinet, model 5723
Rosewood and painted aluminum
Applied metal manufacturer’s label to drawer: George Nelson Design Herman MIller Zeeland, Michigan
33.5in h x 67.25in w x 19.75in d
• An Important Main Line, PA Collection
• Acquired from Wright Auction, Chicago, IL 17 October 2013, Lot 462
• Private Collection, Los Angeles, CA
• George Nelson: Architect, Writer, Designer, Teacher, von Vegesack and Eisenbrand, pg 244 discusses series
Considered to be the founder of mid-century American modernist design, George Nelson was originally from Connecticut, and studied architecture at Yale University graduating in 1931. As winner of the Prix de Rome fellowship, Nelson studied architecture in Rome for two years, where met several influential modernists, including Mies Van Der Rohe, Gio Ponte, and Le Corbusier.
Nelson started his career writing articles for architectural periodicals, such as Architectural Forum and Tomorrow’s House. In 1947, his writings caught the attention of D.J. DePree, chairman of Herman Miller furniture company, who hired Nelson to be their Director of Design, a position he held for almost thirty years. There, Nelson grew the design team to include Charles and Ray Eames, Isamu Noguchi and Alexander Girard.
In 1947 he opened his own design firm in New York City, later incorporating it as George Nelson Associates, and had many influential designers working there, including Irving Harper, Robert Brownjohn, and Don Chadwick. Among the many iconic designs emerging from the firm, are pieces such as the Bubble Lamp, Ball Clock, Marshmallow Sofa, Coconut Chair and Storagewall.
Nelson’s great success was due to his focus on function as well as design. As he explained: “total design is nothing more or less than a process of relating everything to everything.” Many of his designs are still in production today. Created in 1952, the present double dresser attests to the timeless appeal and function of Nelson’s furniture designs. As part of the Thin Edge Series, a collection that is still in production today in similar designs and different veneers. Here, this ten-drawer double dresser is crafted in beautifully figured rosewood in its iconic slim silhouette, solid wood construction and compartmentalized drawers.