History Of Furniture: Hans Wegner

Hans Wegner was one of a few select designers who ushered in the era of Danish Modern interiors, now generally referred to as Mid-Century Modern. Starting as a cabinet maker's apprentice, he eventually worked for Arne Jacobsen, another legend in Danish Modern design. But he started his own company and created over 500 chairs in his lifetime with 100 of them seeing actual production.

Arguably his most famous design is the "The Chair" (or The Round One as Wegner himself referred to it), summing up the idea of Danish Modern design in one elegant silhouette.

Available today from PP Møbler, The Chair comes with either an upholstered or cane seat.

The Chair was even the chosen seating for the candidates to sit in at the first-ever televised 1961 Kennedy/Nixon debate.

His Wishbone chair is a study in restraint.

The three-legged CH07 Shell chair is so light, made of bent plywood, that it even has wings...it is also sometimes called The Smiling Chair for obvious reasons. Today it is available from Design Within Reach in different wood finishes and fabrics and leathers...even hair on hide!

The Wegner Papa Bear Chair looks like a teddy bear with paws up, waiting to embrace anyone who sits in his lap. Again, Danish furniture manufacturer PP Møbler still has this in production.

Perhaps his most unique creation is another anthropomorphic object, the Ox Chair. Based upon drawings of oxen and bulls by Picasso, it sports a set of large horns!

Happy designing!