Hans J. Wegner. Designing Danish Modern at the Vitra Design Museum

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Heng Zhi
Vitra Schaudepot, Charles-Eames-Straße 2 (79576) Weil am Rhein. Germany
From 2nd of March to 3th of June, 2018. Opening.- 1st March 2018, 18:30h. Schedule.- daily, 10.00h. – 18.00h.

Hans J. Wegner

Hans J. Wegner, pioneer of the Danish Modern Movement, helped change the concept of furniture in the 1950s and 1960s. Wegner was born in 1914 in Tønder in southern Denmark, the son of a shoemaker. At the age of 17, he completed his apprenticeship as a cabinetmaker in the workshop of H. F. Stahlberg, where his first designs saw the light of day. At the age of twenty he moved to Copenhagen, Denmark, to attend the School of Arts and Crafts, where he studied from 1936 to 1938 before embarking on a career as an architect.

In 1940, Wegner joined Arne Jacobsen and Erik Møller and began designing furniture for the new City Hall in Aarhus. And he began to work with the master cabinetmaker Johannes Hansen, who played an important role in introducing modern design to the Danish public.

Hans J. Wegner opened his own drawing office in 1943. In 1944, he designed the first chair in China in a series inspired by the Chinese chairs of the Ming Dynasty. One of these chairs, the Wishbone Chair, designed in 1949 and produced by Carl Hansen & Søn since 1950, went on to become Wegner's most successful design of all time. The alliance of Carl Hansen and Søn with Hans J. Wegner started in 1949 and resulted in the production of a wide range of Wegner designs, including the Shell chair, the Wing chair and the Wishbone chair.

Hans J. Wegner is considered one of the most creative and productive Danish furniture designers of all time. He has received several awards given to designers, including the Lunning Prize in 1951 and The 8th International Design Award in 1997. He is famous for integrating perfectly executed joints with exquisite shapes and combining them with a constant curiosity for materials and a deep respect for wood and its natural characteristics. His designs provide minimalism with organic and natural softness.

He became an honorary member of the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in 1995 and honorary doctor of the Royal College of Art in 1997. From the Museum of Modern Art in New York to Die Neue Sammlung in Munich, museums around the world present their furniture in their collections.



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