On April 2, Hans J. Wegner, one of the originators of Danish furniture design, would have turned 100 years old. He passed away in 2007, but to keep his legacy alive, the Art Museum in Tønder, Denmark, will celebrate this milestone birthday by putting on an exhibition of furniture and publishing a 380-page book by cultural historian Elsemarie Dam-Jensen which focuses on Wegner’s importance to Nordic design.
Hans J. Wegner
The exhibition in Tønder, where Wegner was born in 1914, will include more than 150 pieces of furniture, lamps, art works, tools and other objects that illustrate the story of Wegner’s relationship to the town. The museum show covers the story of Wegner’s life starting with his childhood growing up in his father’s cobbler workshop, all the way through to his becoming one of the most famous of Scandinavian designers. The exhibition will on view April 5 through November 2, and the book will be available in English this summer.
Wegner chairs on display at the exhibition
The museum has also invited five contemporary Nordic designers (David Ericsson from Sweden, Caroline Olsson from Norway, Harri Koskinen from Finland, Dögg Gudmundsdottir from Iceland and Søren Ulrik Petersen from Denmark) to relate their own design process to Wegner in some way and create totally new design pieces to be displayed. By doing so they shed an important light on the legacy of Wegner’s design in a contemporary context.
In a similar vein, Danish furniture company Carl Hansen—which produced much of Wenger’s work throughout the years—has teamed up with American textile company Maharam to create limited-edition chairs with a new twist.
Fashion designer Paul Smith selected his favorite pieces from a pool of more than 500 chairs that Wegner designed throughout his lifetime, and paired them with Maharam fabrics to create a modern, updated look.
The chairs will debut at Salone del Mobile in Milan (April 8 – 13) and will be available for purchase throughout the year.