Vintage Danish Modern Style Furniture

Danish Modern tables and chairs, desks and dressers, and other types of furniture from the postwar period are recognizable for their simple, elegant, and airy forms. Many of the pieces, which were typified by their clean, sweeping lines, were of very high quality. As a result, excellent examples of vintage Danish Modern furniture are still available in usable condition.

One of the most influential Danish Modern designers was Arne Jacobsen, whose early work was itself influenced by the output of Charles and Ray Eames in the late 1940s, when Mid-century Modern was just beginning to flower. Jacobsen’s successful, stackable, and space-saving Ant chair from 1952 had three metal legs and was made out of a single piece of molded plywood. Other pieces, such as the 7 Chair from 1955, were even more like the work of the Eameses.

In 1957, a purely Jacobsen aesthetic arrived with the release of the Swan chair, which wrapped its users in a palm-like embrace. The interior of the chair was constructed of a fiberglass shell, which was then covered in foam rubber and upholstered in either a stretch fabric or leather. Jacobsen’s Egg chair from 1958 enveloped the sitter to an even greater extent, creating a mini-interior space out of just a single piece of furniture.

Finn Juhl was a contemporary of Jacobsen. He took a more sculptural approach with his wood-frame seats and couches, whose backs were often asymmetrical. His 1949 Chieftain chair, with leather seats and backs, and tongue-like leather flaps on the wooden arms, is one of his rarest pieces. Fewer than 100 of these handsome chairs were made, mostly for Danish embassies.

Hans Wegner got his start in Jacobsen’s office, but he quickly made a name for himself in the world of Danish furniture design and beyond. His Peacock chair from 1947 was a riff on the classic Windsor chair, with a wider cord seat and a fuller, radiating back. But Wegner is probably best known for the 1949 Round chair, which was so highly regarded it was used by Nixon and Kennedy in a 1960 presidential debate. Today it is known simply as The Chair.

Børge Mogensen designed office furniture, from desks to chairs, of elegant simplicity that harmonized form with functionality. His teak Shell chair from 1949 seemed constructed out of the sort of organic shapes one might find in the sand at the beach. Mogensen’s low-slung Hunt chair from 1950 was more straightforward, while his Sleigh chair from 1953 was a confection in white, with sled-like feet and pointed arms that were just whimsical enough to suggest use by a certain jolly bearded man in a red coat.

Verner Panton is a Danish bridge to the swinging 1960s. In 1954, Panton made a chair entirely out of a single piece of molded plywood, so that the legs, seat, and back formed an S. The pieces were too heavy to be practical, more like examples of sculpture than seating. But technology caught up with Panton in the 1960s, when the U.S. furniture maker Herman Miller produced a similar-looking Panton chair out of molded plastic. In the 1960s, Panton explored the cone shape, designing a table that rested on an inverted cone, as well as a cone-shaped chair made of zinc wire, whose see-through frame held a vibrantly colored cushioned seat and backrest.


Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

Modernism

Modernism

This archived overview produced by the Minneapolis Institute of Arts offers thumbnail sketches of the design moveme… [read review or visit site]

Herman Miller Consortium Collection

Herman Miller Consortium Collection

This website showcases several hundred pieces of furniture, held by thirteen museums, that were designed for Herman… [read review or visit site]

Buffalo Architecture and History

Buffalo Architecture and History

Chuck LaChiusa's wonderful guide to the architecture and history of Buffalo, NY, also happens to host an impressive… [read review or visit site]

The Mid Century Modernist

The Mid Century Modernist

Stephen Coles' really visual blog dedicated to the Modernist era of design from 1940 to 1970 (aka Mid-century Moder… [read review or visit site]

Chipstone

Chipstone

This beautiful site showcases the collection of Stanley and Polly Stone of Fox Point, Wisconsin, consisting of earl… [read review or visit site]

Kentucky Online Arts Resource

Kentucky Online Arts Resource

This huge online database from the Speed Art Museum is a rich trove of beautiful photos and reference information o… [read review or visit site]

EamesCollector.com

EamesCollector.com

Steven Cabella's personal homage to Charles and Ray Eames. This site is as clean and visually appealing as the Eame… [read review or visit site]

Work of Charles and Ray Eames

Work of Charles and Ray Eames

This Library of Congress microsite is an overview of the postwar modern design work of Charles (1907-78) and Ray (1… [read review or visit site]

Classic Modern

Classic Modern

Get a taste of how homes were lit in the 50s, 60s, and 70s with the Danish retro-style lighting designs featured on… [read review or visit site]



Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

Vintage Mid Century Danish Modern Wood Hanging Swag Light Lamp ~nice!Skagen Coffee Table Walnut Danish Modern Midcentury Design Within Reach DwrDanish Modern Teak Compact Credenza Entry Sideboard Chest Mid Century Vintage1950s Vintage Danish Modern Teak Entry Shelf Table Micro Console Mid Century1960s Vintage Danish Modern Teak Nesting Tables Hans Wegner Mid Century Eames Er1960s Mid Century Danish Modern Teak Floor Planter Mid Century VintageSmall 1950s Table Lamp Mid Century Stilnovo Art Deco Danish Modern 60s 70s Elizabeth Style Danish Mid Century Modern Lounge Chair Pair By Ib Kofod Larsen 8 Vtg Mid Century Danish Modern Table Legs Replacement Tapered 15"Midcentury Danish Modern Teak Scissor Wall Lamp Le Klint ?Original 60's 70's Mid Century Danish Ufo Carl Thore Shade Pendant Light Lamp22" X 4 + Brackets Vintage Mid Century Danish Modern Wood Tapered Table Legs Rare Vintage Retro Wooden Sputnik Design Eames Era 1950's Lamp Base Danish ?Vintage Mid Century Danish Teak Swing Arm Wall LampRare~70" Vtg Mid Century Danish Modern Walnut Burl Wood Surfboard Coffee TableVtg Danish Mid Century Modern Mcm Teak Wood Rod Floor Lamp Eames EraDanish Teak Wood Mid Century Modern Sculptural Table Lamp VintageApple Table Cloth Round Denmark Sodahl Vintage Retro 80s 60s Danish Fabric 70sLane Andre Bus Mid-century Danish Mordern Coffee TableDanish Mid Century Modern Bent Wood Bentwood Walnut Desk Letter Rack OrganizerMcm Danish Italian Raymor Era Tall Green Striped Lava Glazed Pottery Table LampVintage Mid Century Danish Modern Era Teak Catch-all Tray By Kindel FurnitureVintage Mid Century Dual Gooseneck Cone Fiberglass Shade Eames Desk Lamp DanishDanish Modern Stelton Arne Jacobsen Cylinda-line Stainless Steel Fondue SetBorge Mogensen J39 Danish Modern Side Dining Chairs ShakerMid Century Danish Modern Wood Bookcase Shelf Atomic Peg Leg Furniture Eames EraMid Century Modern Danish Style Rocking Lounge Chair Vtg RockerAtomic Sputnik Vtg Regency Table Lamp Light Chrome Glass Danish Century Modern

Recent News: Danish Modern Furniture

Source: Google News

London's coolest hotels, perfect for any budget
Express.co.uk, February 13th

Its foyer, boasting mid-century modern furniture, is arranged in a quirky circular set-up lit by single bulbs providing an arresting first impression. Rooms exude super-sumptuous elegance with velvet drapes. Wood panelling and industrial-style long...Read more

Scandinavian design offers lean, clean beauty throughout a space
The Killeen Daily Herald, February 13th

Loi Thai, who owns the Swedish antiques shop Tone on Tone in Bethesda, Md., said most Scandinavian furniture is quite rugged and will stand the test of time. The appetite for modern, minimalist design can be felt even in more traditional places, Thai...Read more

Photos: Sexy, French-Inspired Cuisine Served Poolside At This Restaurant
LAist, February 12th

We're seated poolside, near cabanas and surrounded by bamboo trees, plaid-covered banquettes, Mid-Century Modern chairs, wooden tables etched with geometric designs and lots of candlelight by the turquoise and earthy tones of the restaurant...Read more

The Best Thrift And Consignment Stores In The DC Area
DCist.com, February 12th

The one in Adelphi is my personal happy place: big enough to keep me contentedly digging around for a few hours and well-organized, with a decent selection of everything from knicknacks to shoes to furniture. I've never walked away without some kind of...Read more

fredericia + jasper morrison share love for scandinavian design with three ...
Designboom (blog), February 12th

danish furniture house fredericia and british creator jasper morrison collaborate to form their approaches and views on scandinavian design traditions through three sets of household fittings – the 'taro' dining table, 'pon' multifunctional tables and...Read more

4 Trends to Watch From Paris Home Show Maison & Objet
Curbed, February 12th

Blue was the color du jour, especially in upholstery ranging from Ligne Roset's Marola by Phillipe Nigro to Fendi's Sloane sofa by Toan Nguyen. Neither ... Rex Kralj introduced the world to the furniture of Niko Kralj, a little known mid-century...Read more

A behind-the-scenes look at the estate sale business
Tampabay.com, February 12th

What about mid-century modern furniture and accessories? That's a pretty hot area but we don't see too much of it. A lot of people move down and bring antiques and '30s and '40s furniture with them, but the '50s and '60s is what's really selling right now...Read more

Museum & Gallery Listings for Feb. 12-18
New York Times, February 11th

Metropolitan Museum of Art: 'Artistic Furniture of the Gilded Age' (through May 1) In December, the Met unveiled a beautiful new period room in the American Wing: the Worsham-Rockefeller Dressing Room, which was created in the early 1880s by the...Read more