Hans J. Wegner was one of the most ingenious and prolific furniture designers of his time. He was the brain behind the Danish Modern and second to none in chair-making. His maiden designs got the attention of his people around the time he finished his cabinet-making apprenticeship. Wegner relocated to Copenhagen, where he enrolled in the School of Arts and Crafts before embarking on his architect career. A few years later, the maiden edition of China Chair was designed, one of which was adjudged the most successful design of all time. Today, all the major design museums in the world have Hans J. Wegner’s furniture in their collections.
John Stuart Dowie is best known for his sculptures but is also widely known as an artist. At an early age, his aptitude for drawing became apparent when he attended the Rose Park Primary School. John began holding exhibitions in 1933 until 1969. He continued to attend night classes until he enlisted in the Australian Infantry Forces. When the war ended, Dowie returned to Adelaide, completing his studies. His war experiences persuaded him to travel to London and Italy where he studied art. It was at this point that he swapped sculpting for painting. Despite the honours, Dowie was always apprehensive about a new commission. Today, his work can be found throughout Australia, mostly in Adelaide.
Poul Kjaerholm started his career as an apprentice cabinet maker before going to the Copenhagen School for the Applied Arts, where he studied furniture design. He was a very eloquent man. As a result of his natural authority, he began an exceptional career as an instructor without stopping his education with his lecturers. Kjaerholm eventually became head of the Institute for Design and later a professor in 1976. The furniture pieces Kjaerholm designed represented a mix of new technologies, techniques and craftsmanship. He used ordinary materials and steel frames in his work. The products Kjaerholm created would then remain the symbol of classics minimalist design.
Translated to “golden joinery,” Kintsugi (or Kintsukuroi, which means “golden repair”) is the centuries-old Japanese art of fixing broken pottery with a special […]
It was in 1751 that Dr. John Wall founded a porcelain factory that would become known as the Royal Worcester Porcelain factory. Early Worcester marks are very rare, with typically a crescent mark. These marks were irregular and a bit haphazard. It wasn’t until 1862 that the Royal Worcester marks were first introduced. At first, the company used the letters of the alphabet to designate the year of manufacture. After they had used up the letters, the Royal Worcester introduced a fairly simple code using dots for the years. By the 1980s, some of the pieces made had elaborate marks. They include not only the issue numbers but also the designers’ names.
In his lifetime, Kaare Klint was referred to as the creator of Danish furniture design. Having a successful architect for a father exposed him to architecture from a young age. This also influenced him to settle for a career in architecture, besides the fact that he was also struggling as a painter. Klint started his career as an apprentice to his father and attended classes at a few schools. His analytical approach to his projects, the use of high-quality materials, and superb craftsmanship influenced quite a lot of furniture designers of his generation. Klint’s combination of his creative nature and carefully researched furniture designs made him the father of modern Danish furniture.
Paul McCobb was an American furniture and industrial designer best known for his contributions to modern furniture design. Paul studied both drawing and painting but was cut short when World War II began. After the war, he developed his interest in modern furniture design and met Mesberg at work. Together, they would create and sell furniture throughout the 1950s and 1960s. Paul wanted to design furniture that was accessible to a lot of people. Because of his designs, he received several awards and became a consultant for a number of leading companies. Nowadays, McCobb’s creations are highly sought after by collectors, and reproductions are still available for sale.
There were many furniture designers who helped to make Danish furniture achieve international acclaim; One of such persons was Borge Mogensen. He was one of the most recognised furniture designers who redefined the future of furniture designs. Mogensen’s education in the art of furniture design was quite rich. After working as a cabinet maker, he studied furniture design for 2 years before he underwent training at the Royal Danish Academy of fine arts for another 4 years. Immediately after graduating, he became a studio manager, received various recognitions, and finally set up his own design studio. His collaboration with Professor Klint led to his famous work in the designs of home storage.
Sir Wilhelm Ernst Hans Franz Heysen was born in Germany before his family emigrated to Australia. Hans showed early promise as an artist at school. Hans began painting and attended night art classes while he was with his father’s hardware merchant business. In 1894, he had already sold his first painting. A few years after, he joined the Easel Club and exhibited with them every year between 1895-1899. He would later receive several art prizes and sell a number of his works. Hans was an early pioneer of nature conservation, which was reflected in his works. Hans is regarded as the first non-Australian artist to paint the gum trees and other characteristics of rural life.
Danish furniture designers are known for a lot of breathtaking works of fine art and Ole Wanscher no doubt made a name for himself. Wanscher studied under the legendary Professor Kaare Klint and worked for him for 3 years. He also set up his furniture design office around this time. He had a simple goal of producing furniture designs using all that he learned from a wide variety of sources. He later worked with a few notable designers and produced several masterpieces. To this day, Wanscher’s furniture is regarded as modern classics as they combined a perfect blend of sophisticated design and functionality with an overall keen interest in detail.
Jean Prouve was a French designer, architect, builder, and engineer best known for his use of industrial manufacturing technology and blending it into his works. Jean was heavily influenced by a group called “I’Ecole de Nancy”, in which his artistic parents were a part of. The group believed that art should be available to everybody. In 1923, he already opened his own workshop. He would then open several workshops and studios in his career. In the years leading up to World War II until the war ended, Jean’s architectural business benefited from the demands of the time. Jean always incorporated industrial and engineering elements into his designs, and the industrial production methods in his projects were groundbreaking.
Nanna Ditzel, a name that’s well known in the Danish furniture industry, was already showcasing her work while she was still a student at the Danish Royal Academy. It was also at the academy where she met her husband, Jorgen. They both desired to create a living environment that was simple and comfortable to live in. Although they excelled in this idea, it was not the launching part of their career. Their design gradually evolved to fit into almost every aspect of the modern home. Nanna would become notable for both her furniture and jewellery designs, which won her a lot of national and international awards.
Australian Naïve and Performance artist Kevin ‘Pro’ Hart’s work was not always taken seriously. He received no formal art training, besides lessons by a local artist. At 19, he was employed at a mine, and his relief from the stress of long stretches underground was expressed in his painting. By 1958, Pro was earning enough from his art to concentrate on it full-time. Art collector and then director of the Adelaide Art Gallery, Hugh ‘Kym’ Bonython, discovered Pro and produced his first solo exhibition at the Bonython Gallery. From there, Pro would then go on and win several awards. He would become one of Australia’s most celebrated artists, thanks to his experimental and expressive works.
When talking of people who have contributed immensely towards the development of Danish design and its modern idea, the name Finn Juhl would come to mind. He aspired to study art history at a reputable academy, but his father was against this decision. Instead, he was advised to study architecture, which was regarded as more lucrative during that time. Juhl’s inspiration came from the wonderful and purposeful buildings he saw at the Stockholm Show. By the 1940s, Finn Juhl was already at the peak of his career. With his innovative designs, he became a leading furniture industrial designer and portrayed Denmark as ground-breaking in the area of furniture and artistic design.
Harry Bertoia was an Italian-born American graphic artist, sculptor and designer. Even as a child, Bertoia would already be asked to design embroidery patterns for wedding days. An art teacher was impressed by his talent and offered to tutor the young Bertoia. But this did not last long, as the teacher realised that he had nothing new to teach him. The teacher suggested further training abroad. Bertoia travelled to the US and got scholarships to schools of art in different States. He also worked with famous designers like Eames. Harry Bertoia would create all throughout the 1960s and the 1970s. He was so in demand that he had to turn down commissions and exhibits.
Australian artist Donald Stuart Leslie Friend was born from a family of a moneyed background. He received early education at prestigious institutions. After a scandalous liaison with a young Thai boy, Donald ran away from home. He returned to Sydney with his first series of drawings and studied under an Italian-born artist. Donald would later go on to travel to London and study under various renowned English and French artists. As a war artist in World War II, his encounters with Japanese fatalities would become subjects of his art. He also created many works of young male nudes. Despite Friend’s controversies with his sexuality, he was celebrated for his art and unstinting generosity. He was a friend indeed.
A very rare piece of Tasmanian “Convict Period” silver by Joseph Forrester (1805–c. 1860) was up for sale in Devonport by Island State Auctions. The main side of the salver is ornately chased with decorations of kangaroos, swans and other birds, with native Flora and is amongst the earliest examples of the use of Australian flora and fauna in decorative arts…
Clement Meadmore was best known for his massive outdoor steel sculptures that can be found all around the world. He was an Australian-American sculptor, designer and author. Meadmore was greatly influenced by his mother who was a great admirer of the arts. He initially majored in aeronautical engineering, but quickly took a formal industrial design course when the opportunity arose. Meadmore promoted himself by designing furniture that met with more than a modicum of success until 1953, the same year his first sculpture was put up for sale. When creating furniture, he treated his work as if it were a problem that needed to be solved.