Arne Jacobsen (1902-1971) graduated from Copenhagen’s Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in 1927 and worked in architecture, furniture, product and textile design until his death in 1971. Heavily influenced by the Bauhaus movement (and Le Corbusier in particular), Jacobsen pushed his form of modernism relentlessly. His most well-known architectural works include the SAS Royal Hotel in Copenhagen and St Catherine’s College in Oxford, UK, but he also designed hundreds of other buildings, from family homes to skyscrapers and town halls.
Not content with controlling only the architectural outcome of a building, Jacobsen (much like American architect Frank Lloyd Wright) insisted on designing the interior and as many furnishings and objects within the building as possible, such as door handles, furniture, lighting, cutlery and glassware. This approach is evident in his work on St Catherine’s College, where everything down to the sinks, locks and keys was designed by Jacobsen specifically for the project.
The 1960s saw Jacobsen using the basic forms of the circle, cylinder, triangle and cube in his designs. This led to the Cylinda-Line tableware series, along with the AJ lamp series.
Rare pieces like his 1961-1966 Ox chair have fetched in excess of US$50,000 at auction, while items still in production, such as the Series 7 and Ant chairs (pictured), go for around $1000 each, but only then if they’re made from rarer veneers.
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