Nanna Ditzel


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A leading Danish 20th‐century designer, Nanna Ditzel worked in furniture, textiles, and jewellery design over many decades and was one of the few women designers in that country to achieve celebrity status. After studying under the highly influential furniture designer Kaare Klint at the Academy of Arts in Copenhagen, she moved into furniture design, a field in which she attracted critical attention with her classic design for a children's high chair (1955), the Ring easy chair (1957), and the hanging Hammock chair (1957) in wicker. She had been married in 1946 and worked jointly with her husband on a wide range of products, including several for the silversmithing company Georg Jenson, for whom they worked from 1954. After her husband's death in 1961 Ditzel's furniture took on a more experimental edge, exploring the potential of foam and fibreglass, materials with which a number of avant‐garde designers such as Verner Panton were working. In this period she also worked on a number of striking textiles including the celebrated Hallingdal series (1964), which has remained in production for several decades. In 1968 Ditzel remarried and moved to London for almost twenty years, during which period she designed for a range of Danish and British companies. After returning to Copenhagen in 1986 when in her early eighties, she began working for Fredericia, a leading Danish manufacturer with a reputation for high‐quality furniture. This relationship denoted yet another fresh direction in her career, her Bench for Two (1989) and dramatic red and black plywood Butterfly chair (1990) marking a shift in the Fredericia company's profile—embracing the avant‐garde. Ditzel's Trinidad chair, Tobago table (both 1993), and Tempo chair (1998) followed. She received many awards during her long and distinguished career, including the Lunning Prize in 1956, silver medals at the Milan Triennali of 1951, 1954, and 1957, followed by a gold in 1960, and the ID Prize for her Trinidad chair in 1995.

Subjects: Industrial and Commercial Art.

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