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Hans Wegner – Danish by design

Hans Wegner

Hans Wegner – Danish by design

Pair of Oak armchairs, in the style of Hans Wegner

One of the greatest and most significant designers in history was HANS J. WEGNER (1914–2007). The Danish modern movement of the 1950s and 1960s, which forever altered how people view furniture, is often acknowledged to him as being one of its main forces.

Wegner, the son of a shoemaker, was created in Tnder, Southern Denmark, in 1914. He worked as an apprentice for cabinetmaker H.F. Stahlberg from 1928 to 1932, and by the time he was fifteen, Wegner had created his first chair. Before working as a designer in the renowned architectural firm of Arne Jacobsen and Erik Mller, he completed his studies at The Danish School of Arts and Crafts under Orla Mlgaard-Nielsen (1936–1938).

In his lifetime, Wegner created more than 500 chairs, championing modernity, craftsmanship, and Nordic utility in addition to the surprising impact of Chinese furniture. The Peacock Chair (1947), Wishbone Chair (1949), Round Chair (1949), which the American magazine “Interiors” dubbed “The world’s most beautiful chair” (and which was used in the first-ever televised presidential debate between John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon in 1961), and the three-legged Shell Chair (1949), which was created for MoMA’s historical competition, are just a few of the over 100 of these that were produced (1960).

His designs were both practical and beautiful; for example, his strong wooden chairs had finely tapered and curved limbs and were frequently coupled with woven rattans or leathers. Wegner mixed materials including plywood, metal, upholstery, caning, and paper string while using conventional construction methods.

Although Wegner is most famous for his chairs, he also designed iconic furniture such as cabinets, desks, tables, beds, and lighting fixtures. AP Stolen, Carl Hansen & Sns, Fredericia Stolefabrik, Getama, Fritz Hansen, Erik Jorgensen, Louis Poulsen, Ry Mbler, PP Mobler, and Andreas Tuck were just a few of the prominent manufacturers with which the designer worked throughout his career.

The most prestigious museums in the world have furniture by Wegner in their permanent collections. Additionally, he has received numerous honours, including the Triennale Grand Prix in Milan in 1950, the Lunning Prize in 1951, the Eckersberg Medal in 1955, and the 8th International Design Award in 1997, among others.

At 92 years old, Wegner passed away in Copenhagen in 2007, leaving behind an incredible legacy of design and craftsmanship. His creations, including vintage Wegner chairs in particular, command significant prices at auction houses and are in high demand among both vintage enthusiasts and art collectors.

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