BELLEVUE, WA.- Bellevue Arts Museum
presents the first comprehensive retrospective of one of the most influential figures of modern American design: George Nelson (1908 ‐ 1986). Featuring more than 220 objects, including iconic furniture pieces like the Coconut Chair, Bubble Lamp and the Marshmallow Sofa as well as graphic works, architectural models, films, prints and a full‐scale partial reconstruction of the 1959 American National Exhibition in Moscow, George Nelson: Architect, Writer, Designer, Teacher will be on view at Bellevue Arts Museum from October 29, 2011 ‐ February 12, 2012. The exhibition was originally organized by the Vitra Design Museum in Germany, and BAM is the only Northwest venue to present the work of this seminal visionary.
With an architectural degree from Yale University, Nelson was not only active in the fields of architecture and design, but was also a widely respected writer, publicist, lecturer, curator and passionate photographer. In his many essays on design, he was a prominent voice among his peers in reflecting on the working conditions, duties and objectives of his profession at a time when the field and its image were still in the formative years. Nelsons conception of design as a system, and his approach, which went beyond mere styling and always took into consideration the greater nexus of interrelated interests and concerns, give his oeuvre particular relevance and appeal in todays context.
As design director for Herman Miller, a leading US manufacturer of modern furniture design, Nelson helped forge the program and corporate image of the company for more than two decades: a pioneering achievement in corporate design and an enduring collaboration that yielded numerous classics of modern furniture and interior design.
George Nelson: Architect, Writer, Designer, Teacher is accompanied by a 350‐page, richly‐illustrated catalogue, documenting Nelsons important position in the world of design for nearly four decades.
"Most people think that George Nelson, Charles Eames and Eliot Noyes invented industrial design. That is, of course, an exaggeration. George did it without any assistance from the other two." ‐‐ Bill N. Lacy, FAIA