After an early career as a cabinetmaker Wegner trained at the Institute of Technology in Copenhagen in 1936, transferring to the city's School of Arts and Crafts to study furniture in the following year. From 1938 he worked as an assistant to architect‐designer Arne Jacobsen and Eric Møller, before launching his own design practice in 1943. It was in the late 1940s that Wegner began to establish his reputation as a designer‐maker with a series of wooden chairs for the Copenhagen furniture manufacturer Fritz Hansen that reworked traditional designs in a modern idiom. Typifying this were the Chinese armchair (1945), drawing on 16th‐ and 17th‐century precedents, the Peacock chair, a contemporary reinterpretation of the Windsor chair first seen at the Copenhagen Cabinetmakers' Guild exhibition of 1947, and the Round chair (1949) which looked to earlier designs by Danish furniture maker Kaare Klint. Wegner's reputation as one of the emerging figures of the ‘Danish Modern’ movement was reflected in his being awarded the first Lunning Prize in 1951. He lectured at the Copenhagen School of Arts and Crafts from 1948 until 1953 and, in addition to furniture design, has also worked in wallpaper, metalware, and lighting. In 1957, at the XI Milan Triennale, he was awarded the Grand Prix.
Subjects: Decorative Arts, Furniture, and Industrial Design — Industrial and Commercial Art.