PP19 Papa Bear Chair
for PP Mobler
The beloved PP19 Papa Bear Chair was Hans J. Wegner’s first design to be produced by Danish design leaders PP Møbler, and it’s retained its charms since 1953. Experts spend at least two weeks hand-crafting the ample frame with its oversized arms extended like friendly paws, then supply upholstery and wood frame so supple they will wear in, instead of wearing out. The result is an exceptional marriage of Wegner’s restraint and deep respect for materials, and PP Møbler’s unparalleled craftsmanship.
PP Møbler Collection
Hans J. Wegner
If Danish modernism is best known and beloved for the use of traditional techniques to emphasize materiality—graceful curves honoring the grain of fine walnut, for example—that’s thanks in large part to Hans J. Wegner. Born in southern Denmark, at 14 Wegner began an apprenticeship with Danish master cabinetmaker H. F. Stahlberg, where he honed a preternatural talent and learned skills he’d bring to bear throughout a career lasting some eighty years and full of design masterpieces.
While studying at the School of Arts and Crafts in Copenhagen, Wegner worked for Arne Jacobsen and Erik Møller on a range of furniture for the Aarhus City Hall. Four years after graduation, he had showcased a chair at the Copenhagen Museum of Art and Industry, and opened his own firm. Sculptural, surprisingly comfortable seating became Wegner’s trademark: for Fritz Hansen, the floating Chinese chairs; for Carl Hansen & Sons, he designed the instant classic Wishbone, Shell, and Elbow chairs; for PP Møbler, the cozy Papa Bear, iconic Round, and buoyant Circle chairs; and countless others, most still in production.
Wegner retired in 1993 and died fourteen years later, but his work lives on in its ubiquity across residential, hospitality, and corporate design—not to mention the Museum Sønderjylland’s permanent exhibition of the three dozen chairs he felt were his very best in a water tour in his hometown of Tønder.