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Hans Wegner Dies at 92; Danish Furniture Designer

Hans Wegner at his home in 1997.

reprinted from the NY Times, February 6, 2007 [ABRIDGED VERSION]

Hans Wegner, whose Danish Modern furniture — most famously his chairs — helped change the course of design history in the 1950s and ’60s by sanding modernism’s sharp edges and giving aesthetes a comfortable seat, died on Jan. 26 in Copenhagen. He was 92.

Associated Press

For the entire obituary from the New York Times, click here.

Mr. Wegner (pronounced VEG-ner in English and VAY-ner in Danish) was one of a small group of Danish furniture designers whose elegant but comfortable creations made Danish Modern all the rage among cosmopolitan Americans of the ’50s and ’60s.

Their works, often made in warm blond wood, domesticated the cold chrome shine of the Bauhaus-influenced International style. In the process, they found a way to dovetail the words “Danish” and “modern” for the first time, joining cabinetmaker-guild traditions of high craftsmanship, quality and comfort with modernist principles of simplicity and graphic beauty.

Over the last decade he was able to witness a surge of renewed interest in his work. Mid-century Modern furniture is again in high demand, according to spokesmen for P P Mobler and Carl Hansen. What was a chic look a half-century ago has today joined the pantheon of mainstream style, perhaps a fitting tribute to a man who believed that a chair should be made well enough to last at least 50 years.

Below are just a few of his chairs (click on pic to enlarge)

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