ABOUT THE DESIGNER; BØRGE MOGENSEN
Børge Mogensen distinguished himself among the great mid-20th century Danish furniture designers, with his faith to traditional values of craftsmanship and honesty of materials.
While peers such as Arne Jacobsen, Finn Juhl and Hans Wegner designed some of the most striking and now iconic furnishings of the era, Mogensen focused on making pieces that were durable, simple and comfortable. Pieces that in the long run perhaps were more useful and better loved.
Mogensen studied under and later worked for Kaare Klint, a master cabinetmaker whose chief tenets were quality of construction and simplicity of line. Klint was a classicist, who believed that furniture forms should evolve from those of historical models. So, too, in his way was Mogensen, as two of his best-known earlier pieces attest. His 1945 Spokeback Sofa, with hinged arms that can be lowered to facilitate lounging, is a reinterpretation of the venerable Knole settee. With the oval silhouette of its plywood backrest and waterdrop-shaped cutouts, Mogenson’s Shell chair, designed in 1949, can be seen as a novel take on early 19th century Empire side chairs.
The Hunting Chair (1950), Spanish Chair (1958)
Yet Mogensen shared the aesthetical sensibilities of his most forward-looking colleagues. His cabinets deploy the same spare geometries and lushly figured woods as those of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and his disciple Florence Knoll, the chief difference being that Mies and Knoll used chrome steel for the frames and legs of their pieces. The brawny oak frames and slung leather seats and backrests of Mogensen’s Hunting chair (1950) and Spanish chair (1958) display the same hefty construction and appreciation of natural materials seen in the work of Charlotte Perriand and Sergio Rodrigues.
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