Hans J. Wegner
Danish, 1914 - 2007
Hans J. Wegner was a world-renowned Danish cabinet-maker and furniture designer. He attended the School of Arts and Crafts in Copenhagen and worked as an assistant to Erik Møller and Arne Jacobsen before opening his own office in 1943. His style is often described as “Organic Functionality”, following a process of formal purification and simplification and privileging natural materials, for furniture to be practical as well as beautiful. Often referred to as the master of the chair, Wegner created over 500 different chair designs.
One of his creations, “The Chair”, made history when it was used in the first-ever televised US presidential debate between Kennedy and Nixon in September 1960. Besides the comfort it provided, the chair was chosen for its connotations of modernity and democracy that aligned with the values promoted by Kennedy’s campaign. The success of the chair’s inclusion was such that Americans started referring to it as simply “The Chair”. Today, his pieces of furniture, in particular his chairs, are to be found in the collections of the world’s most prestigious museums.