China Shop and Pavement by George Nelson 04.01

As part of the Textiles of the 20th Century series, Maharam announces the reissue of the only textiles designed by George Nelson ever to be produced. The reintroduction consists of two patterns, Pavement and China Shop, both originally designed and produced in 1950. These patterns reflect Nelson’s commitment to applying modern design principles to a variety of media.

An innovator and visionary, George Nelson’s work cut across the fields of interior, industrial and exhibition design. Born in Hartford, Connecticut, and Yale educated, Nelson was awarded the Rome prize in 1932, providing him with two years of paid study in Europe, expanding his design vocabulary and refining his exceptional talent. Throughout the rest of his career, Nelson brought a European sensibility to American mid-century modern design. He espoused a rigorous interpretation of modernist aesthetics through a series of influential writings and a wide range of design projects.

In the 1940’s Nelson began a long association with Herman Miller. As a furniture designer and the company’s design director, he was responsible for recruiting such innovators as Charles Eames, Alexander Girard, and Isamu Noguchi. Also during this period, Nelson worked with Girard to produce Herman Miller’s first set of textiles and the establishment of a textile division.

Nelson continued to work on his own designs from the late 1950’s through the remainder of his years. He invented or contributed to some of the most familiar elements of modern living, including the shopping mall, the multimedia presentation and the open plan office system. Some of the particular products of his studio became icons of that era and are still produced today: the Bubble Lamp, the Sling Sofa, the Pretzel Chair, the Coconut Chair, the Marshmallow Sofa and the Ball Clock.

Originally designed in 1950 by Irving Harper of the George Nelson Design Studio, Pavement and China Shop were among 12 patterns that Harper developed for Schiffer Prints. Currently in his mid 80’s, Irving Harper provided a key link in establishing a credible color philosophy for the modern day reintroduction of these textiles he worked on nearly fifty years ago. He consulted with the Maharam Design Studio on bringing his original textile designs back to life.

China Shop by George Nelson
Width: 54" (137cm)
Colors: 5
Content: 69% Cotton, 31% Nylon

Pavement by George Nelson
Width: 54" (137cm)
Colors: 9
Content: 51% Rayon, 49% Cotton

Pavement GroupShot

Hi-Resolution file size: 7.41 MB
credit: John Gettings