Finn Juhl 1912 – 1989

Finn Juhl (1912-1989) was first and foremost famous for his furniture, though he was also highly respected as an architect and interior designer. In the 1940s he designed a number of creations that regenerated Danish furniture design, and broke with the established furniture tradition.

His great invention was the floating seating surface, usually upholstered, in contrast to the hard wood of the design´s bearing elements. His masterpieces ‘Pelican chair’ and ‘Chieftain chair’ are illustrative examples. Later designs by Juhl were more specifically designed with the mass market in mind although every bit as beautiful and sturdy as the earlier classics.

At the Milan Triennale in the 50’s, he was awarded no fewer than five gold medals and won international acclaim for his furniture. Finn Juhl was influenced by surrealists like Jean Arp and Joan Miró and used their biomorphism in discovering the sculptural possibilities of wooden furniture. It has often been said about Juhl that he won international acclaim before he was recognised in his own country.

As an exhibition architect he was the man behind the major showings of Danish applied art abroad which created the concept ‘Danish Design’. This also paved way for the Danish furniture industry’s export in the 1960’s.

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