Hans J. Wegner

Best known as ‘the Master of the Chairs,' Wegner created fascinating furniture with clean, organic and aesthetic lines, balanced by a minimalist and composed aspect. He was a modernist with emphasis on the practicality and elegance of each piece he crafted. He believed the versatility and usability of his designs were as vital for him as the looks of them.

Born in Tønder, a southern Denmark town, Wegner discovered he had a talent working with wood, and he loved it. He manufactured his first chair at age 15, being the apprentice carpenter of H. F. Stahlberg. Wegner completed his apprenticeship at age 17 and joined the army before moving to Copenhagen. In Copenhagen, the Cabinetmakers’ Guild arranged a trade exhibition where some of the best carpenters and architects of the time got invited.

This exhibition gave Wegner an idea of what he could be capable of designing. He decided to attend the School of Arts and Crafts in 1936 to later study at the Architecture Academy in the same city. After his studies, Wegner joined Arne Jacobsen and Erick Møller and helped to design the new City Hall in Aarhus in 1940. This experience motivated Wegner to open his office in 1943. Historic furniture styles including the English Windsor chair, rustic American Shaker furniture, and Chinese chairs, were part of his influences and inspiration and led him to design his first China Chair.

Wegner is now worldly recognized as one of the principal designers of the Mid-Century Danish Modern movement and one of the most influential of the mid-20th century period. Wegner left a legacy of over 500 chairs designs and more than 3,500 drawings of furniture items never produced.

There’s no doubt he made a significant impact and is still an influence for designers on the furniture, architecture and interior Danish design field across the world.

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