Launch Slideshow

George Nelson exhibition

George Nelson exhibition

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    Vitra Design Museum Archive

    Gearge Nelson, late 1940s

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    Vitra Design Museum Archive

    Coconut Chairs and Ottoman, 1956

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    Vitra Design Museum Archive

    Fairchild House, 1940/41

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    Vitra

    Marshmallow Sofa, 1956

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    Vitra Design Museum Archive

    Daybed, 1950

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    Vitra Design Museum Archive

    Mounting instructions for Experimental House, 1957

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    Vitra Design Museum Archive

    Model of Experimental House, 1957

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    Ball Clock, 1948
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    Sideboard, 1946
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    Swaged Leg Chair, 1954, and Swaged Leg Desk, 1958

Like many grads today, George Nelson couldn’t find enough projects to support a practice after finishing his architecture degree at Yale in 1928. Nelson, who’s now considered a founder of American Modernism, instead turned to interior and furniture design, eventually becoming Herman Miller’s creative director. Nelson contributed significantly to the future of residential design as well. His post-war book, Tomorrow’s House, introduced innovative concepts such as the family room and “storage wall” that changed the way we live today.

More than 120 of Nelson’s iconic furniture pieces, architectural drawings, and writings are featured in this comprehensive retrospective called George Nelson: Architect, Writer, Designer, Teacher. The traveling exhibition, sponsored by Germany’s Vitra Design Museum, will run at San Antonio’s McNay Art Museum through Sept. 11. Several public events will occur in conjunction with the show, including “Lecture & Libation: A Mad Men Evening with George Nelson” on June 22.

After leaving the McNay, the exhibition will move to the Bellevue Art Museum in Seattle, from Oct. 29, 2011, to Feb. 12, 2012; and then Cranbrook Art Museum in Bloomfield Hills, Mich., from June 16 to Oct. 14, 2012.