Hans J. Wegner (April 2, 1914 – January 26, 2007) was born in 1914 in Tønder, the son of a shoemaker. At the age of 17 he was apprenticed to a carpenter (H. F. Stahlberg) and it was at this time that he developed his first design. At the age of 20 he moved to Copenhagen to study at the institution now known as The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, School of Design but which back then went under the more modest title of “The Artisan College.”
He studied there from 1936-1938, before taking further studies as an architect. In 1940 Wegner initiated a joint project with Arne Jacobsen and Erik Møller in Aarhus, which involved fitting out Aarhus’ town hall. It was also in 1940 that Wegner began to work with Master Carpenter Johannes Hansen, a man who played a significant role in bringing modern design to the Danish public. The then Copenhagen Industrial Art Museum (now Design Museum Denmark) purchased their first Wegner chair in 1942. Hans J. Wegner opened his own design studio in 1943, and in 1944 he designed his first “China Chair” in a series inspired by the Chinese Emperor’s thrones.