Hans J. Wegner Pair of Lounge Chairs in Walnut
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Hans J. Wegner for Fritz Hansen, pair of FH 1936 lounge chairs, walnut, beech, Denmark, design 1948, manufactured, circa 1950
The FH 1936 lounge chair is one of the results of Wegner's efforts in designing furniture with plywood shells. Wegner realized that molded plywood would become the furniture material of the future and thus he designed numerous variations of the 'Shell Chair'. The model consists of two bent shells. The beech frame is executed with traditional cabinetmaker's work in solid wood. In Wegner's first ideas he tried to integrate armrests in this design, but he finally took the drastic step of banishing the armrests altogether. Accompanied with a bench, Hans Wegner designed the FH1936 easy chair for a design competition arranged by the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in 1948. The pieces did not win the competition, but received much attention of the international press. The collection was produced by Fritz Hansen for only two years.
The two FH1936 lounge chairs are finished with checkered cushions for the seat and back that can be removed as well.
Hans Wegner (1914-2007) is one of the most prolific furniture designers of the world. Wegner's furniture was designed with the greatest understanding of materials, construction techniques, and use. Wegner is known to be an excellent cabinet maker with thorough understanding of the materials he worked with, yet his greatest aim was to create expressive and exciting design. Although Wegner was a functionalist, he was not a rational dogmatist such as Kaare Klint, of whom he was a student. Instead, his designs sparkle with inventiveness and sculptural sense. But this never meant that his organic and sensuous forms left the strict rules of functionalism. At heart, Wegner was an idealist. He was relentless in his quest for the best chair: 'there is never one damn thing that cannot be made better'. But Wegner was aware of the fact that you cannot design the 'perfect' chair, which gave him the freedom to produce as much as possible. He left behind more than 3500 drawings and about 500 of his designs went into production. His designs feature in the UN Building and Seagram Building in New York, UNESCO's headquarters. NATO's headquarters in Paris, and several buildings by the architects Skidmore, Owings & Merrill.
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