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.
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PHOTOS: The homes of BaskervillRVANews, October 1st
The previous owners had painted the (original) hardwood floors with this Amish-inspired quilt pattern, and they paired that feature with a cowhide Le Corbusier chaise lounge, modern whimsical pendants and other Mid-Century Modern furniture, pictured here...Read more
Fall 2014 home decor: An ensemble productionfiftyplusadvocate, September 30th
After a few seasons in a supporting role, midcentury modern takes the lead this fall and winter. Accent chairs are armless or lower-profile, and furniture has either a California-chic or Danish-modern vibe. Upholstered furniture gets its shirt tucked...Read more
Dream home: Silo Point condo takes industrial living to a new levelBaltimore Sun, September 30th
Nickasch painted the entire unit in three shades of gray to provide a neutral backdrop for his furnishings, which he describes as mid-century modern. No fan of clutter, "less is more" defines his design scheme. It's far from a minimalist decor, however...Read more
Fab Founder Jason Goldberg Launches Hem, A New Online Furniture ShopFast Company, September 30th
The seeds of Hem have been in Fab's mid-century modern sofa cushions for some time. In the spring of 2013, Goldberg told media at a press event that customers who bought furniture on Fab were "lifetime customers." At the time, furniture made up about 5...Read more
Movin' On UpHour Detroit Magazine, September 29th
The furniture fits so well with the layout it's almost uncanny. Mid-century modern architecture puts the accent on clean simplicity and structures with ample windows, open floor plans, and bringing the outside in. And the condo does just that. Large...Read more
Mid-century modern furniture auction in Camden and onlineHam&High, September 29th
Several of The Cabinet Rooms' clients have Modernist homes around Hampstead and Highgate and are buying furniture to go in them but they also have many buyers in their 80s who have collections of these designs from the first time around and are ...Read more
Chairs by Danish midcentury modern designerThe Desert Sun, September 27th
Because 2014 marks the 100th anniversary of Wegner's birth, Danish furniture company Carl Hansen & Son, the largest manufacturer of Wegner's pieces in the world, collaborated with British fashion designer Paul Smith and textile-maker Maharam to ...Read more
Sage Eldercare in Summit volunteers restore eight Danish dining room chairsThe Star-Ledger, September 11th
SAGE's Furniture Restoration Workshop in Summit recently had the opportunity to re-cane eight Danish modern dining room chairs that were unique — the back rest was double-sided with cane, which meant that the woven areas on both sides had to be done ...Read more