The George Nelson Foundation aims to protect, promote, and extend the legacy of George Nelson's work. 

From left to right: Advertisement for the Howard Miller clock collection with the slogan "Clocks Ahead of Time," 1961; Swaged-Leg Chair, 1954, currently in production; Experimental House, 1951–57.

The Foundation's Mission

The mission of the George Nelson Foundation is to advance a broader understanding of George Nelson’s pivotal role in 20th century design and to preserve and protect his legacy. Central to this mission is to provide a full accounting of Nelson’s many and varied accomplishments and his pivotal role in the American design scene in the second half of the 20th century as a master of several disciplines long before “interdisciplinary” became a recognized term. It is this synthetic view of design—and the rare ability to move seamlessly between being an architect, writer, furniture designer, graphic designer, exhibition designer, teacher and, as a design director at Herman Miller, a client—that makes his work particularly relevant today. By encouraging a more complete understanding of his activities and interests, the George Nelson Foundation acts as a catalyst for advancing Nelson’s own cause, reminding those both inside and outside the design disciplines that design at any scale is in some way a form of social communication and that, in his own words, “what matters is not so much the importance of the object—that is generally out of the designer’s control—as the emotional intensity with which the essentials have been explored and expressed.”

Through its website, the George Nelson Foundation intends to serve as a growing resource for information on Nelson’s designs, teachings, and writings by including detailed information on his work, videos, audio interviews and other such pertinent material. Additionally, the George Nelson Foundation encourages ongoing and new scholarship and collaborates with other institutions that have similar interests or a significant connection to Nelson by working together to develop lecture programs, conferences, exhibitions, and publications.