American Decorative Arts
Photo credit: Yale University Art Gallery
Designer: George Nelson, American, 1908–1986
Manufacturer: Herman Miller, Inc., American, founded 1923

Chest of drawers

introduced 1947

Walnut venneer on maple plywood, yellow poplar, red oak, white oak, maple, and masonite with Chromium-plated zinc alloy hardware

34 × 40 × 18 in. (86.36 × 101.6 × 45.72 cm)
Gift of Boris I. Bittker
George Nelson became the first director of design at Herman Miller in 1946. With his insistence on the importance of good design, he was instrumental in bringing modernism to the mass-produced furniture industry. This simple chest of drawers with clean lines, silver-plated hardware, and ebonized legs is a classic example of furniture designed for the booming housing market in America after World War II.
20th century
Manufactured in Zeeland, Michigan
On view

Purchased by Anne and Boris I. Bittker, New Haven, Conn., 1949–2003


“Acquisitions 2003,” Yale University Art Gallery Bulletin (2004): 129.

John Stuart Gordon et al., A Modern World: American Design from the Yale University Art Gallery, 1920–1950 (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 2011), 394, no. 278.

Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of such records is ongoing.