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Hans J. Wegner

Hans J. Wegner, 1914 - 2007, Danish furniture designer. Hans J. Wegner qualified as a cabinet maker in 1931 and in 1938 completed his training as a furniture designer in the College of Arts and Crafts.


Photo credit: PP Møbler

In 1940 he joined the drawing office of Arne Jacobsen and Erik Møller during the construction of Århus Town Hall. In 1943 Hans J. Wagner set up his own drawing office in Århus, moving it to Copenhagen in 1946. Hans J. Wegner has produced a great deal of furniture, the chair in particular being a task he has explored in many versions. At a time when Danish furniture-making was mainly characterised by the classical, subdued modernism of the Kaare Klint school, Hans J. Wegner with his craftsman-like approach to the subject provided a freer form. This was always based on construction and material, so it is difficult to pigeonhole Wegner's work stylistically. Hans J. Wegner has created artistic chairs based on a shell construction (1948, 1963), broken with the traditional winged armchair in his "Pøllestol" (1960, Bolster Chair), created new forms in his Cirkelstol (1986, Circular Chair), Flaglinestol (1950, Flag Halyard Chair) and Påfuglestol (1947, Peacock Chair) based on the traditional Windsor chair. Although he has used materials freely, wood (with a seat of webbing or light leather padding) has been his favourite material, which places him in a strong Danish-Nordic tradition. Hans J. Wegners' experimentation with construction and form clearly manifests itself in the families of chairs he has created. In the Kinastol (China Chair) of 1944 he develops the classic wooden-backed frame chair in a series of new forms, where top rail and arm rests constitute one continuous construction. From this the Y Chair, The Chair (1950) and others were developed. Much of his furniture continues to be produced by a number of Danish furniture makers and factories.

Mirjam Gelfer-Jørgensen, Gyldendal Leksikon

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