| Jan 26, 2012 |
Danish design icon Finn Juhl rediscovered on 100th anniversary
Boh staff
By Staff

Danish designer Finn Juhl, who would have been 100 years old on Monday, January 30, will be celebrated for the first time internationally with exhibitions in Tokyo and Gifu, Japan, the UN headquarters in New York; Sweden and Denmark. Together with contemporary architects and furniture designers such as Arne Jakobsen, Hans Christian Wegner, Poul Kjærholm, and BørgeMogensen, Juhl became one of the leading figures in the creation of Danish design in the 1940s.

In Japan, an exhibition entitled "The Universe of Finn Juhl" will open on February 28 at the Ozone Tower Gallery 1 in Shinjuku, Tokyo.The exhibition will display a broad selection of Finn Juhl's designs including such icons as the Pelican Chair and the Poet Sofa (FJ41). In addition to these well-known classics, the Danish furniture manufacturer Onecollection will present more than 20 different designs by Finn Juhl from the ‘40s and ‘50s.  Many of them have not been in production for decades but now seem more contemporary than ever before.  The exhibition is curated by the Danish designer Søren Ulrik Petersen. Apart from Finn Juhl's iconic furniture, the exhibition will also showcase brand new furniture designs by award-winning designer Kasper Salto and architect Thomas Sigsgaard for the Trusteeship Council Chamber at the UN headquarters in New York, which was originally designed by Finn Juhl. The two designers will both be present at the opening and give a lecture on the challenges of the project.

In Gifu, the Finn Juhl Art Museum Club is constructing a 1:1 copy of Finn Juhl's original Danish home in Ordrup, Denmark. Finn Juhl's private home is today operated as part of the OrdrupgaardArt Museum, whose grounds it adjoins. On January 30 (Juhl's birthday), an exact copy of Juhl's house will be opened in Gifu for a Japanese audience. 

The most prominent, international example of Finn Juhl’s work – and his legacy in contemporary design – is the Trusteeship Council Chamber in the United Nations Headquarters in New York. Juhl designed the Council Chamber as a comprehensive whole in the 1950s; everything from the colorful ceilings to the wall panels and furniture. During 2012, the Chamber will undergo a full restoration and refurbishment to be completed in January 2013.

See the presentation video of the on-going restoration here.

In part to ensure that the restoration is carried out in the spirit of Finn Juhl, the Danish Agency for Culture and the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs have commissioned Kasper Salto and Thomas Sigsgaard to provide new furniture for the chamber. The task for the designers is to design a secretariat chair, a secretariat table, and a so-called delegate table that will be both innovative and a natural part of Finn Juhl's original design. Finn Juhl created the chamber as a Gesamtkunstwerk, but the chamber has become the worse for wear after many years of use, and there is a need to perk up the interior with new furniture.

In Denmark, the Ordrupgaard Art Museum, north of Copenhagen, will be throwing a birthday bash at Juhl’s nearby private home. Finn Juhl will be celebrated with music, various activities for children, and guided tours of Finn Juhl’s private home, which is open to the public all year round. In Stockholm, Sweden, the Danish Embassy and Onecollection have worked together to produce an exhibition on Finn Juhl's life and his furniture in the big, flashy windows of the embassy at Jakobs Torg in Stockholm.

Photos courtesy Ordrupgaard

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