Hans Wegner (1914)

Danish designer, Born Jutland, Denmark, active Copenhagen. Wegner's reputation rests largely on his chair designs.


The more than 500 he has produced throughout his career have earned him the designation "chair maker of chair makers".

Wegner began his career as apprentice to a cabinetmaker, and continued his training at the Copenhagen School of Arts and Crafts. From 1938-42 he worked as an assistant to Arne Jacobsen, eventually opening his own office.

His work became widely known in the 1930´s, through annual exhibitions at the Copenhagen Guild of Cabinetmakers.

His early pieces, many still in production by Fritz Hansen, were executed in solid wood, although he has also experimented with plywood and tubular steel. Two notable works include the Y chair (1950) and the Round chair (1949) ¬ó so successful that it became known simply as "the chair".

It appeared prominently on the set of the televised 1961 presidential debates between Richard Nixon and John F. Kennedy.

Many of Wegner´s designs incorporate witty quotations of historical forms: His Chinese chair (1949), with its single-piece back and arms, was inspired by an illustration in a historical furniture text.

The Peacock chair (1947), resembles an overblown version of a Windsor chair. Other works, like the bold, dynamic Ox chair (1960) are without historical precedent. Wegner has also been active as a designer of interiors, silverware, lighting fixtures, and wallpaper.

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