the display of the collection of chairs at Designmuseum Danmark in Copenhagen
Chairs are a common pieces of furniture in most modern homes around the world but the chair has a special - almost an iconic place - in the history of modern design in Denmark.
At the design museum in Copenhagen, in a relatively new gallery, chairs from their collection are each given their own space, each elevated and each given spotlights that are set to come on as you approach.
Don't get me wrong … this is not a criticism … actually far far from a criticism because by lifting the chairs up from their normal place - on the floor with and amongst other furniture - you can appreciate the different designs; you can look at the details and see how the chairs are put together; and with the chairs arranged in groups you begin to see how they fit into a context or a sequence of similar or of very different chairs and, above all, you can see how well made most of them are … so they certainly deserve our attention.
But then take a step back … so why so many different beautiful chairs and from a relatively short period of time? - most in the gallery date from the period from 1930 to the last decade of the last century - and why so many chairs from a relatively small country?
They receive well-deserved acclaim and not just in Denmark but internationally - so much so that these chairs are widely imitated and, in some cases, they are copied so carefully that some are passed off as originals. Some chairs from the 1950s and 1960s, by certain designers, now achieve almost eye-watering amounts of money in auctions. And yet they were all made simply so that we can sit down.
Hans Wegner is said to have designed 1,000 chairs and of those 500 went into production. An exhibition in 2014 at Designmuseum Denmark was a thorough assessment of his remarkable work and took its title - just one good chair - from a comment by Wegner himself.
this was posted first on 5 October but has been moved to be at the beginning of a series that looked in more detail at some of the chairs in Designmuseum Danmark and were posted through October