Nelson Bradley was born and raised in Goshen, Indiana His father was a West Point… more »
Nelson Bradley was born and raised in Goshen, Indiana. His father was a West Point dropout who worked for a time as a circus carney before settling into a factory job. Nelson’s mother, a part-time cocktail waitress, encouraged him to study art at a local Community College. Although he did not graduate, his studies landed him a job designing wallpaper for Vermeulen Interiors in nearby Elkhart. Encouraged by his supervisor, Nelson visited the Chicago Art Institute in order to broaden his awareness of shapes, colors and textures with regard to wallpaper design. Instead, Nelson became so enamored with the work of Joseph Cornell, he decided to leave his job and drive to New York to visit Cornell’s home and studio. A few miles from his destination, a minor traffic accident forced Nelson’s car off the expressway and into the Northside neighborhood of Williamsburg, Brooklyn. He remained there for 12 years, until a failed Bubble Tea franchise forced him to relocate to Buffalo.