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”)



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Herman Miller Consortium Collection

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Buffalo Architecture and History

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The Mid Century Modernist

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Kentucky Online Arts Resource

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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]

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Work of Charles and Ray Eames

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Classic Modern

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Recent News: Danish Modern Furniture

Source: Google News

A new way to shop: Instagram
Fresno Bee, February 1st

They'll often search Instagram for a certain hashtag, say “mid-century modern” or “shabby chic.” New Vision Re-loved Home Furnishings at 2569 W. Shaw. Ave. gets lots of business from people searching that way, says co-owner Amber Gorman. The store ...Read more

Realities of Real Estate: What's hot and what's not in home design, January 31st

And finally, mid-century modern elements are a fancy way of saying the furniture your parents have left over from the 1950s. The four trends Zillow predicts will be out in 2015 are: chevron prints, bright colors, solid painted accent walls and matching...Read more

The space-age home that shook up the Grosse Pointes
Detroit Free Press, January 31st

"Designing for himself, it's the one time the architect has no restraints," said Realtor Perry Gatliff, who has a long history selling Detroit's Mid-Century Modern homes. The couple that bought ... They'll list the house at $399,000 with furnishings...Read more

Christmas in Denmark: American discovers new ways to celebrate holiday away ..., January 30th

I did a little research into the topic myself and found that every Scandinavian country believes Santa lives within its own territory. The thought of him living anywhere but the North Pole has never popped into my head. Who knew, right? In Denmark, the...Read more

From bachelor pad to couple's home, how this parade-friendly New Orleans ...
The New Orleans Advocate, January 30th

15, when guests arrive for the couple's annual Bacchus celebration, they will be comfortable in a living room furnished with mid-century modern furniture and welcomed by Obie and Red, the Babineauxs' dogs. “Red goes to work with Brett on all his jobs...Read more

Consignment Furniture Store in Manayunk Riding a Growing Popularity Wave
CBS Local, January 30th

Patricia Donahue, owner of Consignment Marketplace in Manayunk, says environmental trends have had a positive impact on sales at her used furniture store. “People just don't want to chop down another tree,” she tells KYW Newsradio, “and they feel like ...Read more

Mountain Brook teenager forges career as furniture dealer: 'It's the thrill of ..., January 30th

He possesses a trove of knowledge about his specialty - buying and selling mid-century modern furniture. He dresses professionally and is careful with his words. He's been profiled by The New York Times. He enjoys top-notch contacts around the U.S. and ...Read more

'A house for grown-ups' and 4500 books: Baton Rouge authors find open floor ...
The Advocate, January 29th

The Rubins' furniture is contemporary with a Danish Modern dining room table and chairs and comfortable seating upholstered in white fabric. “We always wanted to have white furniture,” Ayan Rubin said. “When the children were growing up, we couldn't...Read more