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Finn Juhl

(1912—1989)


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Georg Jensen (1866—1935)

Kaare Klint (1889—1954)

IBM

 

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(1912–89)

One of the most important Danish designers of the 20th century and closely associated with the concept of Danish Modern, Juhl was widely known for his furniture design and product design with a lesser, but deserved, reputation for his architecture and interiors. He studied architecture at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Art from 1930 to 1934, following which he worked for some years in the architectural practice of Vilhelm Lauritzens. In 1944 he was appointed to the staff of the School of Interior Design at Frederiksberg, opening his own design consultancy in Copenhagen in 1945. It was at this time that he emerged as a furniture designer of note, admired for his rejection of the functional anonymity of Kaare Klint's designs in favour of a more individual artistic approach. He worked closely with the cabinetmaker Niels Vodder in the production of a number of rather sculptural items of furniture including the upholstered, organic, yet light in appearance, Chieftain armchair of 1949. During this and the following decade he produced several series of seating designs, using metal frames as well as the more dominant material of wood. Juhl also designed a wide range of items for Baker Furniture of Grand Rapids in the United States (1949–51) and, in the late 1950s, designed wooden furniture for mass production for the Danish company France & Son. Amongst his best‐known interior designs were the Trusteeship Council Room at the United Nations Headquarters (1951) and a room at the Kunstindustrimuseum (1952). However, Juhl's designs were not restricted to furniture and interiors as he was also commissioned to design typewriters for IBM, refrigerators for General Electric, ceramics for Bing & Grøndahl, and glassware for Georg Jensen. He won many design awards including five Gold Medals at the Milan Triennali in 1954 and 1957 and the AID (American Institute of Design) Prize in 1964.

Subjects: Industrial and Commercial Art — Decorative Arts, Furniture, and Industrial Design.


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