Danish Modern Furniture

Ejner Larsen and Aksel Bender Madsen for Naestved Mobelfabrik Danish mid century teak dining table with butterfly leaves and six chairs with woven paper cord seats. Available at our Mission Hills estate sale May 1-2

Ingmar Relling, Poul Hundevad, Ejner Larsen, Aksel Bender Madsen; Four mid century Danish designers with pieces represented in our upcoming Mission Hills estate sale. Being in the middle of a project with such a fine collection of Danish modern furniture has encouraged us to delve into the history and impact of Scandinavian design.

In the last twenty years the design world has seen a resurgence of the popularity in Scandinavian design and Danish modern furniture. Designers and consumers have increasingly been incorporating Danish-made pieces into their homes and staging. Many Danish pieces have become icons of 20th century and are significantly influencing the designers of today.  

Danish Modern furniture is characterized by its functional minimalism and strong emphasis on craftsmanship in woodworking. Natural materials like wood, leather, and paper cord are combined together to create pieces with clean lines and ergonomic forms. Danish Modern references Nordic nature through the use of these organic materials, especially through the heavy use of teak wood. While Danish furniture is similar to its Scandinavian relatives, it is often seen as more severe and serious in nature. Modern furniture from Norway and Sweden is considered more expressive and uses soft organic lines.

The roots of Danish Modern began when designer Kaare Klint became the head of the furniture department of the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in the 1920’s. Klint was greatly influenced by the Bauhaus movement and he desired to create functional furniture that worked well with the human body. Danish architects and cabinet makers also began to collaborate on furniture projects. Due to its late industrialization in comparison to the rest of Europe, Denmark had a strong traditional woodworking and cabinet making industry well into the mid 20th century.  Because of this collaboration, architects had a lot of control and influence over the production and materials used at the small furniture workshops. This ensured strong quality control over the workshops’ products. The combination of modernist designers and talented traditional woodworkers produced the high quality furniture designs that made Danish Modern so popular in the 1940’s-1950’s.

If you’re on the hunt for Danish Modern pieces, some names to look out for include Arne Jacobsen, Finn Juhl, and Hans Wagner.  These three names are probably the most well known in the genre and they have produced some of the most iconic furniture pieces of the last century. Arne Jacobsen is well known for his very popular Ant, Swan, and Egg Chairs which can be seen in many interior design schemes. Finn Juhl’s work utilized soft and rounded wooden edges and organic forms. He’s best known for the controversial Pelican Chair. Hans Wegner was a cabinet maker and wood worker and he collaborated with Arne Jacobsen who was an architect. Wegner’s work is known for traditional joinery and woodworking techniques.  A good place to see and purchase original pieces by these designers in Kansas City would be Retro Inferno in the Crossroads District. Retro Inferno has was one of the best collection of Scandinavian Modern furniture in the Midwest. You can check out their website at www.retroinferno.com.

Our Mission Hills estate sale runs May 1st and 2nd from 9am-5pm each day. All the photos show pieces that are included in the sale. You can view the full description and photo album for the here.

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