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Ole Wanscher

Denmark (1903–1985)

Danish furni­ture designer and profes­sor Olé Wanscher is consid­ered one of the leading design­ers in the Scan­di­na­vian furni­ture tradi­tion. His classic, mini­mal­ist approach played a key role in estab­lish­ing the inter­na­tional repu­ta­tion of Danish furni­ture crafts­man­ship in the postwar era. Wanscher is espe­cially renowned for his Colo­nial Chair (1949) and his Egypt­ian Chair (1957) – pieces that show­case his penchant for mini­mal­ist design with slender propor­tions and a respect for natural materials.

Olé Wanscher’s acad­e­mic back­ground allowed him to combine his knowl­edge of archi­tec­ture with prac­ti­cal furni­ture design and crafts­man­ship. He drew a great deal of inspi­ra­tion from his count­less trips to Egypt and through­out Europe. This passion led him to write several books on the topic, includ­ing Møbelkun­stens Histo­rie i Over­sigt” (“Histor­i­cal Overview of Furni­ture Design,” 1941) and Møblets Æstetik” (“The Aesthet­ics of Furni­ture,” 1985). Over the course of his long career, Wanscher received many grants and honors, includ­ing Knight, First Class, of the Danish Order of the Dannebrog. Today, Wanscher’s designs are consid­ered modern clas­sics, notable for their rarely seen degree of detail and deep respect for the chosen mate­ri­als. The mini­mal­ist inter­pre­ta­tion of classic shapes accord­ing to modern needs for func­tion­al­ity was char­ac­ter­is­tic of his design approach. Olé Wanscher’s furni­ture radi­ates a subdued elegance that is simul­ta­ne­ously time­less, classic and thoroughly modern.

Designs by Ole Wanscher (3)