Nanna Ditzel 1920 – 2005

Nanna Ditzel was Danish. And she has won international fame. Since she opened her first design office in 1946, she has been forming our existence.

Nanna Ditzel’s furniture has got the qualities necessary to be notable and noticed, and it is beautiful as well as functional. After passing her GCE, A-levels at Aurehoj in Denmark, she studied at The Danish School of Art and Design, from which she graduated in 1946. The same year, she married furniture designer Jørgen Ditzel, and they set up a drawing office together. Jørgen Ditzel died in 1961. She continued the office and ran it alone after his death – for some years out of a London address.

Nanna Ditzel created a stir with her furniture made out of polyester and glass fibre. As is the case with several others of this generation of very big Danish furniture designers, to which Nanna Ditzel belonged, there is a special feature of simplicity and humanism in her beautifully shaped furniture. A general characteristic of her work is that it possesses grace and lightness. It is obvious furniture in a modern world. It makes everyday life beautiful and enriches our existence. It has a sculptural expression and is at the same time comfortable to sit in. Far from always are these two qualities united in one and the same product.

She has also designed textiles and jewellery for Georg Jensen, and she co-wrote the book, ‘Danish Chairs’ published in 1954. She has exhibited her work in a number of cities throughout Europe, and at home, of course, at the Danish Museum of Decorative Art, and Royal Copenhagen, and Trapholt at Kolding.

Nanna Ditzel arranged exhibits in Denmark and abroad for Dansk Kunsthåndværk (Danish Arts and Crafts) and Den Permanente (the Crafts Centre of Denmark) and found the time to work hard for the professional of her trade, such as the Boards of the Danish Design Centre, the Furniture Foundation, The Furniture Makers’ Fall Exhibition, and the Georg Jensen Foundation, and she was also the president of Statens Kunstfond’s (fund for the endowment of the arts) Committee for design, arts and crafts.

Among several well-merited pats on the back, we might mention the award of the Jubilee Fund of Denmark’s National Bank, the annual award of the Danish Design Board, the annual award of the Arts and Crafts Council, and the Thorvald Bindesbøll medal.







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