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George Nelson

                  George Nelson

George Nelson was an industrial designer from the United States who lived from 1908 to 1986. Nelson and his design shop, George Nelson Associates, Inc., made modernist furniture for the Herman Miller furniture company when Nelson was in charge of design.

George Nelson finished high school at Hartford Public in 1924 and then went to Yale University. He didn't set out to become an engineer. He accidentally found the architecture school at Yale when he went inside a building to get out of the rain. As he walked through the building, he saw an art show called "A Cemetery Gateway," made by students.

Nelson was published in Pencil Points and Architecture magazines while still in college. This gave him some early attention. In his last year at Yale, he worked as a drafter at Adams and Prentice architecture firm.

He got his degree in design in 1928. Nelson got a job as a Teacher's Assistant at Yale in 1929 while getting his second bachelor's degree there. In 1931, he Got a degree in Fine Arts.

The next year, as he was preparing to compete for the Paris Prize, he won the Rome Prize. For the Rome Prize, the winner got a year to study design, a good stipend, and a place to stay in a palace in Rome.

Nelson lived in Rome and traveled around Europe, where he met some of the first modernist artists and talked to them for stories in Pencil Points magazine. Ludwig Mies Van Der Rohe asked Nelson about Frank Lloyd Wright when he was being interviewed by Nelson. Nelson felt bad when he had to say he didn't know much about Wright. Years later, though, Nelson would work with Wright on a special issue of Architectural Forum, which helped Wright come out of relative obscurity.[needs reference]

Nelson got married to Frances Hollister while he was in Rome.[needs reference] After a few years, he moved back to the United States to focus on writing. He brought the work of Walter Gropius, Mies van der Rohe, Le Corbusier, and Gio Ponti to North America through his pieces in Pencil Points.


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