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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Deskmates Designed to Complement Apple's Products Now CrowdfundingPR Web (press release), December 9th
“We found inspiration in the latest technology products on the market today, and were also heavily influenced by Scandinavian furniture design,” notes Biron. “People take pride in their work, and they should take pride in their workspace as well.” The...Read more
Books for the stylish coffee tableChicago Daily Herald, December 9th
(They were designed in the 1930s at the Paris branch of the Parsons School of Design.) Even if you collect mid-century modern, by the time you've read this, you'll wonder why you are living without chinoiserie and upholstered doors. "Love Where You...Read more
The Season of GivingFrontiers LA, December 9th
That includes one-of-a-kind cards, scarves, handmade Peruvian blankets, 14k gold monogrammed necklaces, books on contemporary art and architecture, soaps, candles and a treasure trove of silly whimsy. 1409 Abbot Opened in 2011, H&P is a gift store...Read more
The Season of Giving: Our Last-Minute Gift GuideFrontiers LA (blog), December 9th
with impeccable style? Well, this vintage shop tucked away in Highland Park will fulfill all of his/her mid-century modern dreams. You'll find everything from lamps, tables and dressers to prints, credenzas, couches, coffee tables and more. The...Read more
Design books for the stylish coffee tableTribune-Review, December 8th
Even if you collect mid-century modern, by the time you've read this, you'll wonder why you are living without chinoiserie and upholstered doors. “Love Where You Live: At Home in the Country” by Joan Osofsky and Abby Adams ($50, Rizzoli): I can imagine ...Read more
Vintage-look decor makes holiday sparkleTulsa World, December 7th
The trend in Mid-Century Modern furniture and home decor has carried over into Christmas decorations. White or silver aluminum trees would be the perfect find to carry out this theme for the holidays. The furniture store, Retro Den, 2735 E. 15th St., ...Read more
Charles Goodman's own mid-century modern furniture to be auctionedWashington Post, December 2nd
Charles M. Goodman (1906-1992), a nationally known architect who created a large legacy of important modernist work in the Washington area, also left an impressive collection of mid-century furniture. Seventy-five lots of his tables, chairs, desks...Read more
The Good Mod's Cool, Hands-On Approach to Modern FurniturePortland Monthly, November 26th
A kid's micro-scooter leans against an unfinished chair. “Yeah, that's how we get around the warehouse,” Staley remarks with a chuckle. The Good Mod refinishes mid-century furniture and home goods, with a (mostly) modernist approach to design. The...Read more