Carl Hansen, the founder of the brand Carl Hansen & Søn, founded his first furniture atelier in Odense, Denmark in 1908. In its early years, the atelier worked by commission to make big sets like dining room and bedroom. When its works were praised for their high quality, the company started to grow and to individually manufacture the popular pieces from the sets. Its blend of handcraft and mass production became the company’s idiosyncratic feature.
In the mid-1940s, Carl Hansen & Søn collaborated with Danish architect Frits henningsen. During this time, the notable architect designed the iconic “Windsor” chair which the brand continued to sell until 2003. In the late 1940s, designer Hans J. Wegner became one of the brand’s designers. Wegner’s designs soon gained popularity in and outside Denmark and contributed to the brand’s growth. Today, the brand Carl Hansen & Søn is the biggest manufacturer of furniture designed by Hans J. Wegner.
Carl Hansen & Søn continues to find new designers and start new collaborations. The designer duo Strand & Hvass, Thomas Bo Kastholm and famous Japanese architect Tadao Ando are among the names the brand has collaborated with. The company hired its famous Danish joiner Rud Rasmussen in 2011 and another famous furniture manufacturer P.J. Furniture in 2012.
Born in 1929, Poul Kjærholm earned himself a place at the heart of the world of international furniture design with the prominent works created as an architect and a teacher. Rooted in the long-established tradition of crafts in Denmark, the designer brought together modern forms and quality materials. Largely influenced by the German Bauhaus school and the Dutch De Stijl movement, Kjærholm’s works were also inspired by famous designers Gerrit Rietveld, Mies van der Rohe, and Charles Eames.
Mainly known for his modern steel, leather and glass furniture, Kjærholm completed his training as a carpenter in Hjørring, Denmark in 1949, graduated the Danish School of Arts and Crafts in Copenhagen in 1952, and soon returned to give lectures. In 1955, he became a lecturer at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts and, in 1976, he was assigned as a professor after Ole Wanscher. Kjærholm stayed here until his death in 1980.
Kjærholm’s furniture are represented in a series of international museums including the Museum of Modern Art in New York. His works received numerous prizes including Lunning Award in 1958, Eckersbergs Medal in 1960, and ID Awards.