Thursday, January 31, 2013

A House Full of Great Danes!

                                                                    
                                                         A house full of great Danes.
It would be very hard to overstate the Danish contribution to the modern furniture movement.  Starting in the late 40's the Dane's contributed as much or more than any other country to the evolution of modern furniture design. Pictured above are representatives of the Danish all-stars, Hans Wegner, Arne Jacobsen, Peter Hvidt,  Orlar Nielsen and Jl Moller.  This picture reminds me that we don't change so much.

In the early seventies, I was an avid collector, but my passion was baseball cards. For .15 cents you could get a stale stick of gum and 10 baseball cards. I loved the Reggie Jacksons, Carl Yastrzemskis and Vida Blues, but my prized cards were a set I found at a coin and stamp shop.  10 cents a card for all the immortals, all the greats from the 50's, Yogi Berra, Jackie Robinson, Mickey Mantle, Willie Mays, Whitey Ford.  When I saw those cards my heart stopped, I looked around, I blinked, all my heroes for 10 cents each.  From that point I was hooked, I could not believe my good fortune and to this day it is very hard for me to pass the junk shop or St Vinnies, because I just know there might be something there for me.  Thankfully, Heather shares the same passion and optimism.

While my baseball heroes were changing the face of baseball and bringing a new excitement to the game, the designers above were sharing the same commitment to excellence and changing the face of design.  They were all icons in the making.  Admittedly, baseball cards took up a lot less space.  Again thank God for Heather.
Chair #7 Arne Jacobsen
Arne Jacobsen's chair #7 was designed in the early 50's.  It's popularity skyrocketed in 1963 when photographer Lewis Morley used it to cover English model and showgirl Christine Keeler's nakedness.  A pose that has been duplicated countless time since.


                                                                   Peter Hvidt Chair
One of my favorite chairs.  Peter Hvidt (1916-1986) designed this with his partner Orla Molgaard Nielsen.  Together they designed 256 different pieces.  I love the simplicity of materials and the sculptural quality of the bracing.  We were lucky find a set of 8 of these at St. Vinnies.

We have never been able to track down the history of this chair. it has many Danish qualities but also a touch of a George Nakashima influence.  It really doesn't matter where it came from it is a beautiful piece.
                                                             Chair #23 Hans Wegner
                                                                              

      Hans Wegner's chair #23 a simple icon made by the master of mid-century Danish furniture.


N.O Moller, like so many of his contemporaries began as a cabinet maker.  He later founded J.L. Moller a company that is still creating beautiful pieces today.


                                                       Just a simple stool from Denmark

I love how all these pieces are unique to their creators but share a warmth that make them distinctly Danish.  I also love that we have been able to find all these pieces sixty years after their creation in the most unlikely of places.