Finn Juhl

Biography of Finn Juhl
Finn Juhl – Denmark 1912 – 1989
Finn Juhl was the first modern Danish furniture designer to be recognized internationally. He created a new style of Danish furniture that embraced form as much as it did function. The world noticed, earning Juhl the unofficial title of Father of Danish Modernism.Juhl was a trained architect and interior designer, and a self-taught industrial designer. It was something of a Danish tradition for architects and painters to design furniture for their own use. Juhl’s reputation for building and space design preceded his fame as a furniture designer. Among his architectural accomplishments were 33 global ticket offices for Scandinavian Airlines and, in 1951, the Trusteeship Council Chamber at the new UN headquarters in New York. This project opened important doors and proved invaluable to the subsequent international interest in Danish Modernism.Juhl’s pioneering work in furniture design began in the 1930’s. That is when he developed his trademark style, the delineation between the framework of a chair and its surfaces: seat, back, arms. His celebration of “the organic” was revolutionary. He introduced “floating” seat surfaces, often employing upholstery to emphasize a contrast with the chair’s harder structural elements.Juhl found inspiration outside the confines of applied arts. He was influenced by surrealists such as Jean Arp and Jean Miro. Combined with his respect for craftsmanship, this translated into furniture that was, for the times, different and daring. Hi first masterpiece was the womb-like, upholstered Pelican chair, which had an initial limited production run in 1941. It presaged and anticipated the curvaceous, sculptural designs of 1960s and 70s Italy. The 45 Chair, with its elegantly sloping arms, is still regarded as a high-water mark. The throne- like Chieftain Chair of 1948 was custom-designed for Danish embassies worldwide. Fewer than eighty originals were produced. Today connoisseurs fight over them! Later Finn Juhl designs were created with the mass-market in mind, incorporating the same beauty, integrity and construction details.In the 1950’s, Finn Juhl received five Gold medals at the Milan Triennial.Signature Pieces:
Pelican Chair (1939)
Poeten Sofa (1941)
45 Chair (1945)
Chieftain Chair (1949)

Denmark’s One Collection ( or, formerly Hansen & Sorenson, is the manufacturer of licensed original Finn Juhl designs.

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