BEST OF DANISH DESIGN - BORGE MOGENSEN
Børge Mogensen (April 13, 1914 in Aalborg - October 5, 1972 in Gentofte), was a Danish furniture designer.
He was one of the most important among a generation of furniture designers who made the concept of “Danish design” known throughout the world. Together with colleagues such as Arne Jacobsen and Hans Wegner, Mogensen created international respect for Danish furniture design, and his simple and functional designs have for more than half a century enjoyed worldwide demand.
Børge Mogensen (1914–1972) started his career as a cabinetmaker in 1934. In 1936 he went on to study at the Copenhagen School of Arts and Crafts under Professor Kaare Klint before entering the Royal Academy of Fine Arts from where he graduated as an architect in 1942.
He became head of design at FDB (the Danish co-op) in 1942 before establishing his own design office in 1950.
During his years at the Copenhagen School of Arts and Crafts the young Mogensen developed a close partnership with his mentor Kaare Klint and subsequently also assumed Klint’s approach to simple and functional furniture design. Later on Mogensen was to work as Klint’s teaching assistant at the Royal Academy.
Functional is the word which best describes Børge Mogensen’s design. The majority of his furniture was designed with industrial production in mind and is characterized by strong and simple lines. His true genius is to be found in his almost scientific analysis of the functionality of a piece of furniture.
A smaller but essential part of Mogensen’s work was the cabinetmade pieces, one of them being “the Hunting chair” from 1950 made by Erhard Rasmussen. A simple low easy chair with an oak frame from where the strong natural leather seat and back is stretched.
Other important pieces include “The Spokeback Sofa” designed in 1945, which with its lightness and simple, open construction differed from most sofas at the time, and “The Spanish Chair” from 1959, a low, robust easy chair.
By the end of the decade, however, Mogensen had re-embraced a more straightforward functionalism that Klaus Meedom, writing about the Cabinetmaker's exhibit, said was "so strict that he has to violate his own rules to be able to breathe freely." A redesigned "Spanish" chair in 1959 was praised for its elegance and materials. He designed a set of simple, sturdy and modest furniture for a seaside cottage in 1959, a very traditional oak table and chair set in 1960 and a set in pine to furnish a "husband's study" in 1962. Mogensen also collaborated extensively with weaver Lis Ahlmann on textile designs, and, after Klint's death in 1954, succeeded him as designer to the Danish Museum of Decorative Art.
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