Wednesday, September 05, 2018

Hans Wegner: The Master of the Chair

Hans Wegner, Danish Architect and Furniture Designer

What defines Danish modernism? Hans Wegner once told reporters that Danish modernism was “a continuous process of purification, and for me, of simplification, to cut down to the simplest possible elements.

The Wishbone chair has defined a school of furniture design, and has been in production for more almost seventy years.

Hans Wegner was a child of a shoe maker, born at the end of the Great War. He apprenticed first as a cabinet maker -- his feel for the wood and his joining techniques impressed, and his own designs soon saw light. After three years of working with wood, he headed to Copenhagen and studied to be an architect, eventually joining another Danish design deity: Arne Jacobsen. Together, with Erik Møller, they begin designing the Aarhus City Hall -- both inside and out. Working with Jacobsen, Hans Wegner began to simplify the chair to its most basic and functional pieces, never losing sight of balance and grace in the design.

Over the next 60 years (!!) Hans Wegner designed over a thousand pieces of furniture, and of those, more than 500 chairs. "A chair is to have no backside. It should be beautiful from all sides and angles.” he once said. Some of the most iconic chairs of the twentieth century, including the Wishbone Chair, the Wing Chair, and the Shell Chair are Wegner designs. The Wishbone chair has been in continuous production since it was introduced in 1949, and some of his former designs have been put into production after his death, such as the Oculus Chair.

The classic Wing Chair

His clean lines and attention to both function and beauty have left a catalogue off work that defines Danish modernism -- but according to Hans, that work is never done. "The chair does not exist. The good chair is a task one is never completely done with."

Come and see Hans Wegner’s good chairs in our beautiful showroom in sunny Carmel-by-the-Sea, California, or online at! And now, take advantage of a discount on two special Hans Wegner designs as produced by Carl Hansen and Søns of Denmark: the Oculus Chair and the Wing Chair. Purchase before September 15 to receive the matching foot rest free!

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