Finn Juhl (30 January 1912 – 17 May 1989) is one of our most admired Danish Designers at SMH, Inc and is known as one of the first Danish designers and architects to be recognized internationally, along with fellow Danes Arne Jacobsen, Hans Wegner, Borge Mogensen and Poul Kjaerholm, for introducing Danish modern to mid-century America. Finn Juhl favored organic and curved shapes for his modernist designs. Unlike most of his Scandinavian contemporaries who privileged oak, he used dark woods that gave his creations a more profound and sensual presence. Favoring form to function, he was much influenced by tribal art and bio morph drawings. Finn Juhl believed that 'one cannot create happiness with beautiful objects, but one can spoil quite a lot of happiness with bad ones.'
Imagine our disappointment when we flew all the way to Denmark from New York to go and see the Finn Juhl house at the Ordrupgaard Museum only to find it closed for the winter. We had called ahead to see if it was open to be told it was however when we got there our wires must have been crossed as it was definitely closed with the curtains drawn. It’s a good thing to remember for any other design enthusiasts. We still have to say it was still a privilege to be able to walk around the exterior, however, we suspected its main beauty laid inside and it means we will just have to go back another year.
His private home was built in 1942. The home of Finn Juhl in Charlottenlund is a time capsule that is became a museum in 2003. Finn Juhl was influenced by the abstract sculptor Jean Arp, an influence which is seen already in his early Pelican chair but it remained a motif throughout his career. One of his hallmarks was the floating back and seat which is seen in most of his chair designs, usually upholstered, in contrast to the hard wood of the bearing elements. The full back and seat, seeming to hover on their supports, start to emerge in the chairs from 1945 and 1948. He is also responsible for designing a series of wooden bowls, trays, glassware, ceramics, tables, desks and case goods amongst other inspiring designs.
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