Hans J. Wegner

Designer Tønder / Denmark

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Hans J. Wegner 2
Hans J. Wegner
Hans Jørgensen Wegner, (April 2, 1914 - January 26, 2007), was a world renowned Danish furniture designer. His high quality and thoughtful work, along with a concerted effort from several of his manufacturers[1], contributed to the international popularity of mid-century Danish design. His style is often described as Organic Functionality, a modernist school with emphasis on functionality. This school of thought arose primarily in Scandinavian countries with contributions by Poul Henningsen, Alvar Aalto, and Arne Jacobsen. [2] In his lifetime he designed over 500 different chairs, over 100 of which were put into mass production and many of which have become recognizable design icons.Born to cobbler Peter M. Wegner in Tønder, in southern Denmark,[4] he worked as a child apprentice to Master cabinetmaker H. F. Stahlberg. He soon discovered he had a feeling for wood and developed an affinity towards the material. Finishing his apprenticeship at 17 he remained in the workshop for another three years before joining the army. He went to technical college after serving in the military, and then to the Danish School of Arts and Crafts and the Architectural Academy in Copenhagen. In Copenhagen he became acquainted with the city's Carpenters' Guild Furniture Exhibits, started in 1927. The exhibits were a laboratory for experimentation between Master Cabinetmakers such as Johannes Hansen, L. Pontoppidan, Niels Vodder, Jacob Kjær, A. J. Iversen, Moos and Rudolf Rasmussen and the best architects of the time, such as Kaare Klint, Vilhelm Lauritzen, Ole Wanscher and Mogens Voltelen. These annual exhibits gave Wegner a first-hand experience of what the combination of workmanship and design could produce. Wegner decided to become a designer with the aim of producing and selling his furniture. Therefore, in 1936, he began studies at what is now The Danish Design School, with O. Mølgaard Nielsen as teacher. Even his earliest objects, like an armchair with sloping armrests like relaxed wrists (a 1937 design for an exhibit at the Museum of Decorative Arts), exhibited Wegner's approach of "stripping the old chairs of their outer style and letting them appear in their pure construction."Even his earliest objects, like an armchair with sloping armrests like relaxed wrists (a 1937 design for an exhibit at the Museum of Decorative Arts), exhibited Wegner's approach of "stripping the old chairs of their outer style and letting them appear in their pure construction."
Hans J. Wegner
Hans J. Wegner
  • 1914 - 2007 †