Finn Juhl 
(1912 - 1989) Architect and designer Finn Juhl was the first Danish furniture designer to be recognized internationally. He studied architecture at the Royal Academy in Copenhagen, but as a furniture designer he was self-taught, a fact he always emphasized.

Finn Juhl began designing furniture in the late 1930’s. In the beginning it was mainly pieces intended for himself, but after setting up his own office in 1945 he soon became known for his unusual expressive and sculptural designs. He initiated a collaboration with master cabinetmaker Niels Vodder. The pair frequently caused a stir at the annual Cabinetmaker’s Guild Furniture Exhibitions with designs clearly influenced by modern abstract art. Compared to his contemporaries Juhl placed more emphasis on form and less on function, a serious break with the tradition of the Klint School.
One of Finn Juhl’s most well-known chairs is the “Chieftain Chair” designed in 1949. It is a fine example of Juhl’s novel idea of separating the sculpturally shaped seat and back from the wooden frame. The same principle is evident in the “45-Chair” from 1945. Here, emphasis is laid on the elegantly shaped armrestsFinn Juhl’s first American assignment came in 1951 when he was asked to design the interior of the Trusteeship Council Chamber at the UN headquarters in New York. An overwhelming task for a rather inexperienced young architect, but Juhl gained much praise for his result. This first experience in America and the contacts he made later proved valuable for many Danish architects by paving the way for the notion of ‘Danish Modern’ to become internationally known and valued.

Arne Vodder Arne Vodder at Decopedia
1926 - 2009 Danish architect and designer Arne Vodder should be counted among the most influential Scandinavian mid-century designers. A student to famous furniture designed Finn Juhl, Mr Vodder started designing furniture for Fritz Hansen, France & Son ans Sibast, the latter for which he designed a wide range of furniture which received worldwide recognition and success. His beautiful designs were nicely detailed and modest in their expression, almost without exception based on natural materials. Rosewood and teak - according to the fashion at the time - seem to have been the preferred materials, often combined with colourful panels catching the eye. Today, Vodder is perhaps most appreciated for his beautiful rosewood and teak sideboards designed in the 1950-1960's and produced by Sibast Furniture. Pieces by Vodder are regularly seen at high-end 20th century design auctions, and rare pieces can reach really high prices.

 

Børge Mogensen
(1914 - 1972) Architect and designer Børge Mogensen started his career as a cabinetmaker in 1934. In 1936 he went on to study at the Copenhagen School of Arts and Crafts under Professor Kaare Klint before entering the Royal Academy of Fine Arts from where he graduated as an architect in 1942.He became head of design at FDB (the Danish co-op) in 1942 before establishing his own design office in 1950.

During his years at the Copenhagen School of Arts and Crafts the young Børge Mogensen developed a close partnership with his mentor Kaare Klint and subsequently also assumed Klint’s approach to simple and functional furniture design. Later on Børge Mogensen was to work as Klint’s teaching assistant at the Royal Academy.
Functional is the word which best describes Børge Mogensen’s design. The majority of his furniture was designed with industrial production in mind and is characterized by strong and simple lines. His true genius is to be found in his almost scientific analysis of the functionality of a piece of furniture.
A smaller but essential part of Mogensen’s work was the cabinetmade pieces, one of them being “the Hunting chair” from 1950 made by Erhard Rasmussen. A simple low easy chair with an oak frame from where the strong natural leather seat and back is stretched.
Other important pieces include “The Spokeback Sofa” designed in 1945, which with its lightness and simple, open construction differed from most sofas at the time, and “The Spanish Chair” from 1959, a low, robust easy chair.

 

Hans J. Wegner
(1914 - 2007) Architect and designer. With his love of natural materials and his deep understanding of the need for furniture to be functional as well as beautiful, Hans J. Wegner  made mid-century Danish design popular on an international scale. He began his career as a cabinetmaker in 1931 and subsequently entered the Copenhagen School of Arts & Crafts. After receiving his architectural degree in 1938, he worked as a designer in Arne Jacobsen and Erik Møller’s architectural office before establishing his own in 1943.

With more than 500 different chair designs Hans Wegner is the most prolific Danish designer to date. His international breakthrough and greatest sales success came in 1949 when he designed the Round chair. The American Interiors Magazine featured the chair on the cover and referred to it as “the world’s most beautiful chair”. The chair rose to further stardom when used in the televised presidential debates between Nixon and Kennedy in 1960 and has since been known simply as “The Chair”.
The real beauty of Hans Wegner’s genius must be seen in context with his collaboration with master cabinetmaker Johannes Hansen. The attitude with which Johannes Hansen accepted the young designer’s ideas was the perfect combination between designer and craftsman. Their collaboration went on for many years, and they presented their work at the Cabinetmakers' Guild Exhibitions every year from 1941–1966.
A cabinetmaker himself, Wegner took part in the entire production process. After completing the drawings he was in the workshop with the cabinetmakers carrying out the prototypes and overseeing the workmanship. He had a deep understanding for the nature of wood, its possibilities as well as its limitations, and together with the cabinetmakers he strived to find the most constructive solutions. But the solutions never compromised the beauty of the finished piece of furniture. On the contrary Wegner had a fondness for making the joinery so beautiful that it stood out and became a decorative part of the finished design.
Hans Wegner’s design went on to win worldwide recognition through the 1950’s and 1960’s and his furniture, in particular his chairs, are to be found in the permanent collections of the world’s most prestigious museums.

 

Jens Harald Quistgaard Jens Quistgaard at Decopedia

 (1919 - 2008) Danish industrial designer Jens Quistgaard's clean-lined and immensely popular pieces for the Dansk brand of tableware, helped define the Scandinavian Modern style. As a child, Jens Quistgaard cheerfully made his own toys from the scraps of wood his father (Harald Q. - a well-known sculptor) brought home. As a young man, Mr. Quistgaard served an apprenticeship at Georg Jensen, the well-known Danish silversmiths. During World War II, he was a member of the Danish underground. Quistgaard is known for his fluid lines and for using unusual materials, often in combination. His signature pieces included salad bowls and cutting boards of teak and other exotic woods, and elegant stainless-steel flatware that was an affordable alternative to sterling silver. He was one of the first designers to rehabilitate enameled steel as a medium for cookware. For years enameled steel pots were considered lowbrow flimsy speckled things that were at home over a campfire but not in a bourgeois kitchen. His work, which won many international awards, is in the permanent collections of major museums, among them the Metropolitan Museum, the Museum of Modern Art and the Louvre.

 

Ole Wanscher
(1903 - 1985) Designer Words like delicate, elegant and orderly come to mind when describing the designs of Ole Wanscher. Wanscher was a student of Kaare Klint, and later followed in his footsteps as Professor at the Furniture School at the Royal Academy in Copenhagen.

Like Klint, Ole Wanscher was inspired by classical furniture, and he possessed a great interest in and knowledge about, not only English 18th century furniture, but also early Egyptian furniture. This influence is evident in “the Egyptian Stool” from 1960, a slight, delicate piece where luxurious materials and excellent craftsmanship is combined.
Although Ole Wanscher took great interest in industrially made furniture and designed several pieces with this in mind, his finest work were made in collaboration with master cabinetmaker A. J. Iversen.

 

Kaare Klint
(1888 - 1954) Designer Kaare Klint's influence on Danish furniture design is difficult to overestimate. He was the primary force in the founding of the furniture school at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen in 1924, and as a professor here he shaped many of the young designers, most notably Poul Kjærholm and Børge Mogensen.

While modernism — Bauhaus — was rejecting its heritage, Kaare Klint embraced it. He believed that a thorough understanding of materials, proportions and constructions of classical furniture was the best basis for designing new. The design of Klint’s pieces is always based on a relentless research — every piece must fulfil its purpose, be absolutely clarified in its construction, have proportions which corresponds to those of the human body, and display materials and craftsmanship of the highest quality.
Kaare Klint’s first major work was a collaboration with his mentor, the architect Carl ‘Calle’ Petersen. In 1914 they were commissioned to design furniture and fixtures for the Faaborg Art Museum. This resulted in, among other things, the well-known “Faaborg Chair”, a light and elegant piece with clear references to classical furniture. The construction and proportions of an 18th century English chair were clearly visible in “The Red Chair”, designed in 1927, but with its straight back, deprived of all unnecessary decoration and its beautiful Nigerien leather, the chair was nowhere close to being an imitation. Other important works by Kaare Klint include “The Propeller Stool”, also from 1927; an easy chair designed in collaboration with his pupil Edvard Kindt-Larsen in 1930; “The Safari Chair” and “the Deck Chair” designed in 1933; and “The Church Chair” designed in 1936 for the Bethlehem Church in Copenhagen. Also worth mentioning is Klint’s well-proportioned cabinets and wardrobes, all made in solid Cuban mahogany.

 

Poul Henningsen
(1894 - 1967) Architect, designer and writer. The name Poul Henningsen, or PH as he is perhaps better known, has become synonymous with Danish lighting design. Poul Henningsen originally trained as an architect at The Copenhagen College of Technology. He was a self taught inventor, and through his writings known as a sharp critic of art, architecture and society.
Poul Henningsen grew up in the soft glow of the petroleum lamp. As electrical lighting gained way in the early 1920’s he struggled with the blinding glare from the electric bulb and began to develop a lamp that would have the same soft, relaxing qualities of the petroleum lamp. The result of his efforts emerged in 1926 ­­­- a 3-shade lamp soon to be known simply as the PH lamp.
The curvature and position of the three shades perfectly determined the distribution of light directing it downwards. At the same time the glass shades allowed the light to fill the room, avoiding a harsh contrast between the illumination of the table and the walls. Different kinds of coloured glass shades with matt frosted surfaces ensured that the lamp radiated a golden tone and cast a harmonious shadow.
The hanging lamp was soon joined by table lamps, floor lamps, chandeliers and wall mounted lamps all with the 3-shade design. The shades were now also available in copper and glass with various degrees of transparency and a variety of colours. Poul Henningsen was succeeding in his project — the PH lamp was becoming a household name.
To this day the PH lamp remains one of the finest examples of the perfect incandescent lamp fitting. What was perceived as a radical new way of thinking in terms of both technology and design, still shows us today what good lighting is — in a design that is still absolutely modern.
At his death in 1967 Poul Henningsen had designed more than 100 lamps.

 

Nanna Ditzel                                                                                                                    

(1923 – 2005) Nanna Ditzel was educated at the Design School in 1946. She worked with the spouse, Jorgen Ditzel (1921-61) and together they accounted in 1950 for Georg Jensen jewelry and furniture and textiles, which brought silver medals at the Triennale in Milan 1951, 1954 and 1957 gold medal and the 1960th It also received the 1956 Lunning Prize.After Jorgen Ditzel’s death she went alone and awoke in the late 1960s attention with furniture made of polyester and fiberglass. In 1965 she signed textile collection Hallingdal, which today remains a sold product to high quality from the manufacturer Kavdrat A / S, Ebeltoft.Nanna Ditzel’s productions were always marked by good human solutions and a quest for harmony and beauty. These include expressed in a warm and luminous colour. 1970-1986, she had studio in London, then in Copenhagen. In 1999 she received Thorvald Bindesbøll medal.View all products by Nanna Ditzel.

 

Jacob Kjaer Jacob Kjaer at Deconet
(Denmark 1902 - 1971)