George Nelson: The Don Draper of Mid-C Furniture

George Nelson: The Don Draper of Mid-C Furniture

Sarah Coffey
Jun 8, 2011

As the McNay Art Museum in San Antonio welcomes the traveling exhibition — George Nelson: Architect, Writer, Designer, Teacher — Architects & Artisans reviews the career of "the original Mad Man." Nelson's Draper-like characteristics included an innate understanding of modern life in the mid 20th century and an uncanny ability to know his audience.

Herman Miller signed Nelson as the company's design director, and it was Nelson who — in turn — hired now-famous designers like Charles and Ray Eames and Isamu Noguchi. Bill Chiego, director of the McNay Museum, tells Architects & Artisans, "He didn't believe that you had to capture the whole market by going after the lowest common denominator, but could go after the part that really cared about [modern design]."

Organized by the Vitra Design Museum in Germany, the retrospective of George Nelson's work includes his iconic Coconut Chair (1956), Marshmallow Sofa (1956), Ball Clock (1947), and Bubble Lamps (1952 onwards). The exhibition is on view at the McNay Art Museum from June 8 to September 11, 2011.

MORE GEORGE NELSON ON APARTMENT THERAPY:
Quick History: George Nelson's Bubble Lamp
Then & Now: George Nelson Clocks
Hi/Low: IKEA Hack of the George Nelson Jewelry Cabinet

MORE INFORMATION:
George Nelson, the Original Mad Man | Architects & Artisans
George Nelson: Architect, Writer, Designer, Teacher | McNay Art Museum
George Nelson: Architect, Writer, Designer, Teacher | Vitra

Photos: Vitra, Herman Miller, Design Within Reach, Modernica

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