A tribute to Børge Mogensen

Børge Mogensen (1914-1972).

Trapholt Art Museum in Kolding celebrates the 100th birthday of the famous Danish furniture designer with a 9-month exhibition.

One of the great Danish furniture designers, Børge Mogensen, would in April 2014 have turned 100 years. Although Mogensen already died in 1972, his furniture is still in great demand, and several of his works have in Denmark almost achieved the status of a national treasure.

Børge Mogensen’s influence on Danish furniture industry is not due solely to his own furniture. His influence also consists in the fact that he carried forward the ideas of Professor Kaare Klint, who back in the1930s was a pioneer of simple and functionalistic furniture design, into practice in the 1940s  where Mogensen was in charge of the Danish cooperative movement FDB’s furniture design department. The mission was to provide quality furniture at a reasonable price range for the general population, and in this period, some of his most famous pieces of furniture, such as the Spokeback sofa and the “People’s chair” J39, were designed.

Later, as an independent furniture designer, Børge Mogensen in part abandoned the strictly ascetic idiom and worked with more comfortable and exclusive materials, without in any way sacrificing the furniture quality and utility value. These include the many chairs and sofas, which he from 1955 until his death designed for Fredericia Furniture, where he built a close cooperation with the manufacturer Andreas Graversen.

borge_tremmesofaThe Spokeback sofa was designed in 1945, but came first into production in 1963. Manufacturer: Fredericia Furniture.

Human and furniture man The exhibition presents a comprehensive picture of both people and Børge Mogensen, with his sometimes contradictory personality, as his deep influence on the development of Danish furniture design. It also tries to throw light on the paradox that although Børge Mogensen in Denmark was regarded as the epitome of Danish furniture design, he never had an international breakthrough in quite the same way as his contemporary furniture designer colleagues Arne Jacobsen, Finn Juhl and Hans J. Wegner.

The Børge Mogensen Exhibition at Trapholt in the days 23 January – 5 October 2014. Detailed inspection information can be found on www.trapholt.dk.

The People’s Chair J 39 was drawn at FDB’s design studio in 1947. Manufacturer: Fredericia Furniture.