Introduction

Danish vintage furniture guide danskmøbeldesign.dk

Finn Juhl Institute Finn Juhl Institute

Modern Design Encyclopedia by Deconet

Hotel Alexandra has gradually collected a considerable amount of chairs from the period when Danish furniture design experienced its international breakthrough. A breakthrough which alone was due to the dedication of architects and furniture designers to raising the standards of utility and craftsmanship. In the 1920’s, a handful of visionary pioneers renewed the Danish furniture tradition by continuing the useful elements from the past and by further developing function and comfort to such a degree that it resounded abroad, resulting in the success which made Denmark a leading furniture production country.

It is no exaggeration to claim that furniture is one of the most important everyday articles for identifying our cultural behavior and social lives. As our habits and types of housing have changed, it is has become the chair one especially notices. It is a necessary article both in private and at work and is therefore under the social and economic pressure that can be put upon an article used without regard to cultural or class distinction.

The chair also has more complex characteristics. Besides being useful, it can also be much more: beautiful or ugly, expensive or cheap, sculptural or simple, handmade or mass-produced, etc. Already, these suggestions give one a notion that a chair is not an anonymous tool in our daily lives. It is also the most difficult piece of furniture to produce because its creator is exposed to ruthless appraisal and judgment. It is therefore the chair which proves the worth of the carpentry and architect. Even though it may seem easily produced, there is an enormous amount of work behind the idea, choice of material and level of craftsmanship needed to achieve a useable and beautiful chair.

The work is usually more time consuming than it looks, and the following little antecdote about professor Asplund and Kaare Klint is a good example. Asplund and Klint met each other in Stockholm, and Klint asked Asplund what he was working on at the time. Asplund replied that he was designing a library, a movie theater and a warehouse. “And you, Kaare?” Asplund asked. To this, Klint replied that he was working on a chair. A couple of years later they met again, this time in Copenhagen, and once again Klint asked Asplund what he was working on. “I am working on a city hall, a school and a couple of houses”, replied Asplund. Again Asplund asked Klint what he was working on, to which he is said to have answered, “I already told you last time that I am working on a chair.”







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