Hans J. Wegner

Hans J. Wegner


Hans Jørgensen Wegner (April 2,1914– January 26, 2007) was a world-renowned iconic Danish furniture designer. His high quality and thoughtful work, along with a concerted effort from several of his manufacturers, 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. 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, 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."


Arne Jacobsen and Erik Møller had established a studio together to design and build Aarhus City Hall. In 1938 Wegner was employed in Aarhus, first under architects Erik Møller and Flemming Lassen and then in 1940 under Jacobsen and Møller. Wegner's task was to design the furniture for the City Hall.


Wegner worked for some time for Arne Jacobsen, a successful Danish architect and designer. Wegner was in charge of the furniture in the Aarhus City Hall, which Jacobsen designed. After some years under Jacobsen, Wegner started his own company. Along with fellow architect Børge Mogensen, he designed furniture for FDB (a Danish chain of grocery stores), spearheaded by Erik Kold - who founded an organization of Danish furniture makers that launched Danish design abroad.


In his later years Wegner became more attached to PP Møbler (which produces many pieces originally designed for Johannes Hansen) and for whom he subsequently designed several chairs. He continued to be prolific throughout his life. An example of his later work is the "Hoop Chair", originally designed in 1965 with a steel tube base and finally put into production made entirely in wood in 1985 (for PP Møbler). Wegner retired from public life only around the turn of the 21st century.





    The Forking Paths

    WeChat Subscription Account

    Customer Service

    WeChat: theshopwechat

    Email: mail@theshop.art

    Online time:

    (GMT+8) 11:00-18:00 Mon.- Fri.

    Except for CN national holidays