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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Find a harmony between old and modern objectsIrish Examiner, July 11th
Mixing antique and contemporary elements is an enduring look and helps to pull together different styles in furniture and objects you have and which don't seem to get along. What is key to harmonising these odds 'n' sods you might have ... A collection...Read more
New Scandinavian design for the 21st centuryThe Globe and Mail, July 11th
On one hand, the success of the previous generations made (and continues to foster) Denmark's reputation as a design nation. On the other, the pressure to conform to the mid-century look and ethos is palpable. (In 2010, the furniture and interior...Read more
Mid-Century Modern exhibition at the NGV showcases our postwar homesThe Australian, July 11th
The National Gallery of Victoria exhibition Mid-Century Modern: Australian Furniture Design shows how these conditions shaped the nation's domestic arrangements. The gallery has reconstructed one of the “small homes” offered by the Small Homes Service, ...Read more
Construction to begin on 6-story developmentBerkeleyside, July 11th
Demolition has begun on the lot at the corner of Shattuck Ave. and Dwight Way, bringing down the building that was home to furniture store Modernaire, which has moved to a new location. In its place will be a new, 6-story mixed-use housing development, ...Read more
Insider's guide to the Design DistrictSFGate, July 10th
is a consortium of modern Italian furniture showrooms. Find dozens of well-established lines including Delinear's sustainably crafted hand-knotted modern rugs, British-born Tom Dixon's line of modern lighting and furniture, and Italy-based Apcer's...Read more
Estate Sale Roundup: July 10-13: Beat the heat this weekend with a cool trip ...Austin Chronicle, July 10th
On a more secular note, you will also find mid-century and contemporary modern furniture including a mid-century Unagusta china cabinet and dining table with six chairs; teak Danish Modern bar cart, teak Danish Modern buffet, teak lounge chair and ...Read more
Retro at HomeVolume One, July 10th
Sadly, I never got to meet him, but I believe he is where I get my sense of style. I also have a spectacular mid-century modern chair that was gifted to me by a dear friend who has since passed, it constantly reminds me of her and makes me smile...Read more
See the best of Danish Modern furnitureHeraldNet, July 10th
After World War II and the war in Korea, people now in their 80s bought up these houses, and many, such as Anna and Peter Evans of Mountlake Terrace, invested in Danish Modern furniture from Scan Design and Skarbos...Read more