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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Art Van set to open largest storeFurniture Today, July 29th
featuring an eclectic assortment of natural, rustic, Old World and industrial looks; and Art Van Modern, which features Mid-Century modern furniture, with clean lines and retro designs from Sunpan Modern Home and other sources the company wouldn't ...Read more
Building Downtown | The Cooperative Modelithaca.com, July 29th
Downtown Ithaca, New York is widely known for its diversity of specialty stores. Over one hundred retailers, many of them along the newly renovated Ithaca Commons pedestrian mall, offer everything from Scandinavian furniture to secondhand camping gear ...Read more
Kast Concrete Knobs Launches 2015 CollectionVirtual-Strategy Magazine (press release) (registration) (blog), July 29th
This week marks the launch of the new Kast Concrete Knobs collection -- handcrafted concrete cabinet and furniture hardware inspired by mid-century modern, Danish, and geometric design. This newest series boasts a variety of styles and can be found at ...Read more
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So if you're going for a mid-century modern look, a fireplace re-do may be in order. ... There are also several pieces of furniture that Quinn designed and built himself, including a blood wood sideboard in the living room that has zebra wood accents...Read more
Thirteen takeaways from Art Van Furniture, Downers Grove, Ill.Furniture Today, July 28th
AV Sunpan Modern. No. 6. It's also the first store in the market with a full-fledged AV Modern department, featuring clean-lined mid-century modern home furnishings like this from Sunpan Modern Home … AV Urban rustic Home Elegance. No. 7. And the new ...Read more
Mid-century MoroccanThe Desert Sun, July 24th
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Return of furniture classics as design firms plunder the archivesFinancial Times, July 24th
It worked for the mid-century furniture manufacturers Carl Hansen & Son. “We decided to produce the Wishbone chair by Hans J Wegner in 12 modern colours,” says Knud Erik Hansen, grandson of Carl Hansen and the company's chief executive...Read more
Raleigh woman makes old furniture new again at Retro Modern FurnishingsNews & Observer, July 18th
These days, Wohlgenant said, she sells more in person than online. Larger items, like that blue dresser, are easier to sell locally, she said. Mid-century modern furniture, made in the 1950s through the '70s, has become more popular. The clean, modern...Read more