chair for the museum in Faaborg by Kaare Klint 1914

Now, in many ways, this chair appears to be old fashioned - looking backward to earlier styles of furniture as a reinterpretation of an historic type of chair - but it should be seen to mark or define the start of a distinctly modern approach to furniture design.

Faaborg is on the south coast of the island of Funen - just over 40 kilometres from Odense. A new museum there was founded in June 1910 to display the work of a group of artists known as the Funen painters and in 1912 it was the artists themselves who proposed Carl Petersen to design a new gallery that was to be built along one side of the summer home and garden of Mads Rasmussen … a wealthy businessman who had made his fortune through canned food.

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chair for Dansk Kunsthandel by Kaare Klint 1917

Designmuseum Danmark

 

 

In 1915 the furniture designed by Kaare Klint for the Faaborg Museum on Funen - along with drawings and even a section of tiled floor for the main gallery - were exhibited in Copenhagen in the Danish Museum of Art & Design that was then still in its original building on City Hall Square.

Clearly this was good marketing for Klint then went on to design a number of chairs of the Faaborg type for a number of important and influential clients in Copenhagen.

The original Faaborg Chair from 1914 has cane in the panels of the back and there was a rather heavier looking version of that chair, with solid panels in the back rest with a top rail that flares out in a more marked way, that was made by the cabinetmaker N M Rasmussen in 1916 for Aage Lunn and then in 1917 a version of the chair in Cuban mahogany was made for Dansk Kunsthandel in Copenhagen by N C Jensen Kjær.

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chair for the Thorvaldsen Museum by Kaare Klint 1923

This chair was designed by Kaare Klint in 1923 for the office of the Thorvaldesn Museum in Copenhagen * and made by N C Jensen Kjær. In style, it looks back to the chair that Klint designed for the museum at Faaborg in 1914. 

Made in burl oak, the frame has a distinct, sharply-curved, and high back support. As with the chairs for the museum in Faaborg, both the front and back legs are continued up to support a curved and horizontal rail for a back rest and there are intermediate rails, half way between the seat and the top rail, but with the upper parts here filled with thin curved panels of wood held in channels in the frame - rather than the cane work of the Faaborg Chair.

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country furniture

country furniture in buildings at Frilandsmuseet - the open-air museum north of Copenhagen

 

In Denmark traditional country furniture is called bondemøbler or peasant furniture and in England cottage or farmhouse furniture or by some academics vernacular furniture.

This is the chairs and tables and cupboards and beds made before the industrial and before the retail revolutions of the 19th century by families themselves or by local carpenters who would use local materials - so where possible oak or, as oak became less easily available and more expensive, then other local timber including ash or pine. The use of expensive foreign timber is rare in country furniture, for obvious reasons, and highly finished and polished surfaces or veneer were beyond the experience of local makers unless they worked in a relatively large market town and had a larger workshop. As a consequence wood was left untreated or furniture was either finished with simple wax or oil, to protect the surfaces, or could be painted and decorated.

Upholstery was also an expensive job that required a specialist so seats were usually simply flat wood planks or possibly wood hollowed out but rush and cane or even rope were used woven over a frame for chair seats. Mattresses or simple seat cushions could be made from a tough fabric with a filling of straw or animal hair.

living in a single room - Den Gamle By - the open-air museum in Aarhus - note the bed in a drawer under the settle or bench

 

Wood for chair and table legs and for the spindles of a chair back or for stretchers between the legs - to make a stronger frame - could be turned on a simple lathe and in England these lathes were often set up out in the beech woods and the turned legs and spindles brought into town where the chairs would be assembled. Turning legs and spindles for furniture required the same tools and skills needed for making the spokes of wood wheels for carts and carriages. With turned legs and spindles the fixing was also relatively simple with the end tapered and then pushed tightly into a drilled hole and that avoided having to cut complicated mortice-and-tenon joints that needed careful work with a saw and a chisel that was best done on a proper work bench where the wood could be held securely in place.

Through into the 19th century - and even into the early 20th century - local blacksmiths could make hinges and catches and nails if they were needed for the wood furniture.

Wealthier farmers in a village or clergymen who wanted more elaborate furniture for their posher homes or for the parish church bought more sophisticated and expensive furniture from nearby towns or even from abroad and then the features and styles of those imported pieces might be copied or roughly imitated by local craftsmen.

These relatively simple and 'honest' country chairs … honest meaning straightforward and unpretentious … were and still are appreciated even in the town or city. In part, they were cheaper for workers to buy but in the late 19th and early 20th century people were moving into Copenhagen to work in the port and work in new industries and may well have brought furniture from where they had lived, out in the countryside or smaller towns, or they deliberately sought out furniture that reminded them of distant family or distant lives.

It was the unpretentious modesty and simple techniques, that looked back to straightforward local carpentry, rather than fancy foreign fashions, that meant that people saw these well-made but basic and relatively light but strong chairs with turned legs and rush seats as appropriate for churches.

Good country furniture can be seen in appropriate room settings in the open air museums in Denmark and it is worth spending time looking at these pieces to see where modern designers have taken and adapted ideas or, even more interesting, to see types of furniture that are rarely made now such as the clothes press or plate rack or even the bed built into a cupboard or the large plank chests for bedding.

Features from good country furniture can be seen in the sophisticated work of major designers of the modern period including the Nyborg Library Chairs by Hans Wegner, the 'People's Chair' by Børge Mogensen and, of course, in the Church Chair by Kaare Klint.

Church Chair by Kaare Klint

Chair for Nyborg Library by Hans Wegner

Folding Stools

Folding or Propeller Stool. First drawing by a student of Kaare Klint in 1930 and first prototype made in 1956

Stool PK91 designed by Poul Kjærholm in 1961 and made by E Kold Christensen

 

Foldestole / Folding Chairs and stools

In the display of chairs at Designmuseum Danmark, they are grouped by type and the first group, on the chart of the museum typography of Danish Chairs in the introduction, and the first section as you go through to the main display are stools. Not just stools but specifically folding stools. Initially this seems slightly odd - simply because stools are not, by definition, chairs. But actually this does make several important points that a visitor - with only a general understanding of furniture history - might not have thought about.

It is stating the obvious here that a stool is not a chair because a stool does not have a back to lean against and, to complete this statement of the obvious, a bench is not a stool  … although, by an extension of logic, a bench might be seen as a series of stools in line because, again, generally, a bench does not have a back …. generally because in England, for instance, a park bench will often have a back.

Stools and benches in the early history of the home were much much more common than chairs because chairs were and are much more difficult to make … leaning back in a chair means that a lot of stress and pressure is placed on the frame of the chair and in order for the chair to be comfortable - so someone wants to lean back - the back has to be set at an angle, rather than perpendicular, and given at least some shaping and has to reflect the proportions of the person sitting down so, again to state the obvious, if a chair has a head rest it has to be at the right height to be behind the head.

To make a stool is generally much easier and much cheaper. They just have to have three legs (or more) and a surface to sit on that is generally flat and generally raised around 40cm from the ground. So early homes - and particularly the homes of poorer families - would have benches and stools and possibly no chairs or at most one or two chairs that would have been considered to be prize possessions.

This point that chairs are or, at least, were, until the beginning of the 20th century, special items of furniture explains in part why chair design and the making of good chairs was given such attention. Most of the chairs in the exhibition are valuable because they have survived but also most were expensive when they were first made. So part of the point of the exhibition is to show how designers and manufacturers in Denmark worked through the 20th century to produce not just better and better chairs - in terms of construction and comfort - but also chairs that ordinary families can afford to buy. So now, most homes have chairs rather than stools.

But the stools shown in the design museum are of a specific and less common form with X-shaped frames that fold so this makes another important point for they show designers and cabinetmakers in Denmark trying out ideas and testing materials so, at the very beginning of the display, you see how important ingenuity is in the work of Danish cabinetmakers and for the design of good furniture in Denmark.

Church Chair by Kaare Klint

a church chair by Kaare Klint in the collection of Designmuseum Danmark

 

Shakerstole / Shaker chairs

 

In the typography of chairs in the new display at Designmuseum Danmark, a distinctive group are the chairs influenced by Shaker furniture made in the United States from the late 18th century onwards. This was simple but well-proportioned and well-made furniture with styles and forms taken with them by members of the religious group when they emigrated from England to America to establish independent communities leading a simple and devout life.

One type of chair made in the 1820s in the Shaker settlement at New Lebanon had turned legs and spindles and a high back of the type usually called a ladder back although the cross pieces of the back rest tended to be thin but flat, curved and shaped pieces of flat wood rather than spindles or rungs. 

 

a Shaker rocking chair in the collection of Designmuseum Danmark

an English ladder-back chair with rush seat that was made in north Gloucestershire or Worcestershire about 1800 that shows clearly that the origin of the Shaker chair was an English type

 

 

Decoration was kept to a minimum and was usually restricted to what could be done with turning so with knops or rings on the turned legs. Most cross rails and stretchers between the legs were turned and seats were often woven from ribbon width lengths of natural coloured textile … cotton or linen webbing.

There was an example of a Shaker rocking chair in the collection of the design museum and this appears to have been an inspiration for the church chairs designed by Kaare Klint in the 1920s for both the Grundtvigskirchen and for the Bethlehem Church in Copenhagen.


Church Chair by Kaare Klint in the collection of Designmuseum Danmark and in the chairs in the nave of Grundtvigskirchen in Copenhagen

The Klint chairs in the nave of Grundtvigskirchen in Copenhagen

 

Side Chair 1936

Several versions of the chair were produced. The Church chair above has a book holder across the back … a wide shallow box in thin wood where the person sitting in the row of chairs behind could place bibles and prayer books … and there are extra spindles across the space under the seat to hold a hat during the service. 

A version with arms was made by Bernstorffsminde Møbelfabrik from 1939 onwards. 

In the church, the chairs can be linked together with a long pole slotted through leather loops behind the front legs.

 

designed by Kaare Klint (1888-1954)
made in oak and in beech by Fritz Hansen Eftf
and Bernstorffsminde Møbelfabrik A/S

height: 81 cm
width: 45 cm
depth: 40 cm
height of seat: 44 cm

 

The Red Chair by Kaare Klint 1927

Designed by Kaare Klint for Kunstindustrimuseet - the Danish Museum of Art and Design that is now called Designmuseum Danmark.

The largest version of the chair was used in the lecture theatre in the museum but there are also two smaller versions to fit at a table or desk and also two versions of the red Chair were made with arms - one with plain wood arms and another with padded or upholstered arm rests.

It is too easy now to dismiss this chair as 'old-fashioned' or at least not particularly relevant to what is happening now in modern chair design and that is, in part, simply because it is not a type or style of chair that is now popular.

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the Red Chair type

 

Chippendale stole / Chippendale chairs

If asked to name an important early modern Danish chair, many people would probably suggest Chair 7 by Arne Jacobsen or possibly a chair by Poul Kjærholm. Probably no one would think of the Red Chair designed by Kaare Klint in the 1920s as the first truly modern Danish chair but surely that would be a valid claim? 

Now, of course, the Red Chair seems old-fashioned and slightly boring for current taste … so perhaps it appears to be in a bit of a design cul-de-sac … but through the 1930s and 1940s it was a common and popular type of chair.

It was the first chair where what we would recognise as 'modern' ideas of simplicity and structural clarity were essential to the design … by that I mean that Kaare Klint analysed what he considered to be the core requirements for a chair - worked out how that could be made and tried to express that rational approach in how the chair looked and he stripped away any unnecessary decoration. Essentially the idea of form following function and material.

Part of the problem for us now is that then he took the example of an 18th-century English design as his starting point and in part it is difficult to appreciate chairs of this type because, for modern tastes, they appear to be worthy but rather boring … possibly more suited now and possibly even then to an office or institution than to a home.

In fact the chair was designed for the design museum in 1927 and then in 1930 Klint produced a version of the chair with upholstered arms for the office of the Prime Minister Thorvald Stauning with a set of four smaller chairs for the Prime Minister's staff and a set of 12 chairs for his conference room.

A version of the Red Chair for the Thorvaldsen Museum were also produced by the same cabinet maker - Rud. Rasmussen - that was lighter, with cane seat and back, and for an office on Nørre Voldgade that was designed by Povl Baumann, Kaare Klint designed a chair that was a variation on the Red Chair with a front to the seat that is bowed out. It was a style of chair that went with the slightly severe classic revival taste of some architecture of the period.

So the Red Chair type was well designed , well made and sensible, strong - serious. Solicitors and bank managers in England in the 1950s and 1960s sat on chairs like this. After graduating - working first for the University of London and then for the Civil Service - I sat at a desk on chairs that were a variation of this … chairs with straight wood legs, side and cross stretchers, upholstered leather seat, wooden arms, one with a padded leather back rest and the other with a series of thin wood slats across the back. So it was a good chair for offices and serious public buildings.

the chair designed by Klint for the office of Prime Minister Thorvald Stauning

 

But it was also obvious that this style of chair, even if it was a little formal, had a place in a home.

In the first exhibition of the Cabinetmakers in 1927 there was a room setting with furniture by the cabinetmaker Anny Berntsen & Co. The dining chairs were relatively simple but well proportioned and well made in oak with upholstered square seats that tapered towards the narrower back and the back legs were curved out backwards and tapered so smaller in cross section at the floor than where the rails of the seat are joined. The back legs continued up to support a large square back rest with a gap between the seat and the back, where the frame is exposed, and the back was slightly wider than the uprights and rounded at the top corners so a variation on the Red Chair.

The dining table shown with those chairs was square and compact but appears to have had leaves so it could be extended and it looks as if the furniture, even at this early stage, was designed for a relatively small apartment.

A similar, rather restrained design of chair in elm was shown by Henrik Wörts in 1928.

At the Cabinetmakers' Exhibition in 1929 there was another square table with straight, vertical - so un-tapered - legs and chairs in birch designed by Viggo Sten Møller and made by Jens Peter Jensen.  The chairs have straight legs but with stretchers only at each side - so not across the back or across the centre under the seat - and the back legs above the seat were tapered and angled back at the top to support a narrower back rest - so not as deep top to bottom as on the Red Chair.

These were shown in the room setting as a dining alcove and alongside a double wardrobe, and with a neat low book case on legs with shelves and a day bed with deep drawers underneath - so again the implication is that this furniture was designed for a small apartment. A drawing of the wardrobe shows hanging space on one side, with a hat shelf at the top, and the other half is divided by shelves but the drawing shows tableware and household linen on the shelves which suggest it might even have been for a single room apartment.* It would seem that Møller was suggesting that this good, well-made furniture was appropriate for even the smallest modern home.

this chair by Kaare Klint and made by Rud. Rasmussen was shown at the 1930 Cabinetmakers' Exhibition with a dining table designed by Rigmor Andersen

Another version was shown at the Cabinetmakers' Exhibition in 1930 along with a low cabinet on a stand with sliding doors with a series of deep shelves designed to take a large table setting of china and glassware.

And, in the exhibition in 1932, almost the same shape of chair by Jacob Kjær in Cuban mahogany was shown but possibly because the wood was exotic and expensive the upholstered back rest was replaced by a cross rail just above the seat and a straight top rail with four simple vertical rails grouped in the centre but this is basically the same shape and form and style of chair.

 

dining table and chairs designed by O Mølgaard-Nielsen and made by the cabinetmaker Jacob Kjær - shown at the Cabinetmakers' Exhibition in 1933

A version of the Red Chair was shown in 1933 with a set of furniture designed by Orla Mølgaard-Nielsen and described as appropriate for a three-room bungalow and a reviewer comments that the design owes much to Klint. What is interesting is that in that review of the furniture it was described as compact but the cupboard was designed to store china, glass and table linen with four sections with doors, two above two, but inside shallow trays on runners held table settings for twelve people. It implies that although the furniture was designed for a relatively modest home, the owners would probably want to be able to feed twelve people with a full set of matching china and tableware that was otherwise stored away in a well-designed piece of furniture.

All this shows that architects and the cabinet makers certainly did not see the Red Chair type as primarily an office or museum chair and by the 1940s the chair was being made in more exotic wood for middle-class buyers and was being made to look lighter and more modern.

At the Cabinetmakers' Exhibition in 1941 there were a surprisingly large number of exhibitors and Børge Morgensen showed furniture in cherry wood that was made by the cabinetmaker Erbard Rasmussen for a two-room apartment.

A review by a journalist from Berlingske was not particularly kind:

“The furniture for the two-room flat with a kitchen-dining room, seems to have been made for dolls, a little too fragile for full-grown adults, but the style is very nice, clean and sober. It is reasonable to assume that the personal touch will be added by the young people themselves.”

The bedroom furniture for the exhibition apartment was by Kay Gottlob.

A chair by Henrik Wörts with cane back was shown at the Cabinetmakers' Exhibition in 1943 and the Red Chair type appears at the Cabinetmakers' Exhibition through into the 1960s … in 1961 a chair by Gunnar Magnussen and made by Søren Horn was shown which had a cane seat and back and side stretchers and a central cross rail below the seat but by then the next generation of architects and designers were prominent and the Red Chair style became less and less  popular.

furniture for a two-room apartment designed by Børge Mogensen - made by Erhard Rasmussen and shown at the Cabinetmakers' Exhibition in 1941

 

At the Cabinetmakers' Exhibition in 1941 there were a surprisingly large number of exhibitors and Børge Morgensen showed furniture in cherry wood that was made by the cabinetmaker Erbard Rasmussen for a two-room apartment.

A review by a journalist from Berlingske was not particularly kind:

“The furniture for the two-room flat with a kitchen-dining room, seems to have been made for dolls, a little too fragile for full-grown adults, but the style is very nice, clean and sober. It is reasonable to assume that the personal touch will be added by the young people themselves.”

The bedroom furniture for the exhibition apartment was by Kay Gottlob.

A chair by Henrik Wörts with cane back was shown at the Cabinetmakers' Exhibition in 1943 and the Red Chair type appears at the Cabinetmakers' Exhibition through into the 1960s … in 1961 a chair by Gunnar Magnussen and made by Søren Horn was shown which had a cane seat and back and side stretchers and a central cross rail below the seat but by then the next generation of architects and designers were prominent and the Red Chair style became less and less  popular.

 

 

note:

* In Copenhagen the normal way to describe an apartment is without including the kitchen or the bathroom in the number of rooms … so a one-room apartment in the 1920s had a kitchen plus one room that combined living room and bedroom and there might have been a toilet or separate bathroom but in smaller and older apartments toilets might have been out on a landing or outside and shared and baths might have been at a communal bath house. A two room apartment would have had a living room and a separate bedroom plus a kitchen and probably a bathroom.

chair in Cuban mahogany designed by Erik Wörts. Made by the cabinetmaker Henrik Wörts, it was shown in the Cabinetmakers' Exhibition of 1943

 

Chair for Kvinderegensen by Rigmor Andersen 1931

chair in Designmuseum Danmark

 

After studying technical drawing for a year in 1922 Rigmor Andersen entered the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts where she was a student under Kaare Klint in the new School of Furniture and then, from 1929 to 1939, worked in Klint's studio. Her designs for the furniture for Kvinderegensen, a residence for women students on Amager Boulevard in Copenhagen was one of her first major projects and included this chair from 1931.

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Deckchair by Kaare Klint 1933

chair photographed at Designmuseum Danmark when it was part of a major exhibition on Kaare Klint

 

 

This is not exactly a recliner - you don't lie back in a horizontal or almost-horizontal position - but by having the foot rest raised level with the seat you are 'sitting with your feet up' to use a slightly old-fashioned English phrase that is more than a straight description of how someone is sitting but implies just a bit of pampering or self indulgence.

The chair looks as if it would be most appropriate for the deck of an ocean liner but when it was first shown at the Cabinetmakers' Guild Furniture Exhibition in 1933 it was described as suitable for a garden terrace.

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Practice Makes Perfect - Kaare Klint's School of Furniture

This week is the last chance to see the exhibition Practice makes Perfect at the Design Museum in Copenhagen. This well-curated and beautifully arranged exhibition shows the work of Kaare Klint - including his designs for the furniture and fittings for the design museum itself when it moved to this building in the 1920s.

The exhibition explores his influence and importance as a teacher in that crucial period in the development of design in Denmark as furniture production moved from the methods, forms and styles of the cabinet makers' workshops of the late 19th century and the early 20th century to the work of the designers of the modern period of Danish furniture design in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s and new methods of furniture production in factories and large workshops.

 

Practice makes perfect at Designmuseum Danemark in Bredgade in Copenhagen closes on 6th September.

Designmuseum Danmark - the building

 

Frederik’s Hospital was built in the 1750s during the reign of Frederik V from designs by the court architect Nicolai Eigtved and, after his death in 1753, completed by Lauritz de Thurah. There were four main ranges set around a large enclosed courtyard, generally of a single storey but with two-storey pavilions at the centre of the fronts to Bredgade (at first called Norges Gade) and Amaliegade on the axis of Amalienborg. Those central pavilions on the street fronts had high, hipped roofs and pediments with ornate carved reliefs over the central doorways. Both fronts were set back from the street with forecourts, iron railings and gateways onto the street with ornate stone piers. On either side of the forecourts on both street fronts were tall service blocks of two full stories above basements and with high roofs with dormers. There were also yards with service buildings down each side that were screened off and divided up by high walls and gateways creating an extensive complex.

detail of a map of 1761 from the collection of Københavns Stadsarkiv

The design museum was established in 1890 by the Industriforeningen i København and the Ny Carlsberg Museumslegat and opened in 1894 in a new building by Vilhelm Klein on what is now H C Andersens Boulevard. From the start, what is implied is that there should be a connection between industry and business and an aim to collect examples of the applied or decorative arts as a study collection for teaching to improve the quality of design and production.

Frederik's Hospital closed in 1910, with no clear new use and there was a rumour it might be purchased by speculators. In 1919 Councillor of State Emil Glückstadt bought the buildings and gave them as a gift to establish a new home for the museum.

The Museum director was Emil Hannover (1864-1923) and a competition was held for “the Future Home of the Museum of decorative Arts.”

There was not an outright winner but the committee preferred the scheme proposed by Ivar Bentsen, Thorkild Henningsen and Kaare Klint. Henningsen withdrew from the project (because of an ongoing personal dispute with Hannover) and the contract was signed by Bentsen although in the end most of the design work was completed by Klint as the project architect … not just deciding on the major arrangement of the internal spaces but designing the main features such as the four new staircases, based on appropriate 18th-century models, determining the form of the display cases and designing library fittings, doorcases and doors and even handles and hinges.

However, the museum also commissioned work from other major designers of the period; G N Brandt produced the scheme for the courtyard - Grønnegården - with paved alleys and the planting with lime trees; lamps for the new museum were by Poul Henningsen based on a lighting system developed for the World Exhibition in Paris in 1925 and Mogens Koch and Ole Wanscher designed the display cases following a system of basic cube units devised by Klint. The cases were made by the master cabinet makers N C Jensen-Kjær and Rudolf Rasmussen, Otto Meyer and Jacob Petersen.

view of one of the galleries

drawings by Kaare Klint for door fittings

With the death of Hannover in 1923, Klint took over the responsibility for organising the display of the collection. He was clear that he did not want the museum collection shown in any form of room setting and his drawings for the main galleries show major items lined up formally along the spine walls opposite the widows to the courtyard. He saw the furniture as important works of art to have comparable validity to paintings and sculpture and to be displayed in a similar reverential way. He also designed shelving and storage systems for housing smaller items, drawings, photographs and other teaching collections such as the samples of different timbers. 

Klint established a studio in the attic of the museum, taught here using the collection and from 1932 had accommodation here where he lived until his death in 1954.

Amaliegade entrance to Designmuseum Danmark

 

This is the entrance hall leading from the forecourt on the Amaliegade side of the museum building and giving access to the main courtyard.

Presumably many visitors to the museum cross this space without taking that much notice but it shows clearly the taste and subtlety of the careful work directed by Kaare Klint when the buildings were converted from a hospital in the 1920s. 

The palette is a mixture of soft greys and cream or stone colours with a mixture of materials contributing not just colour but texture with marble floor tiles, wood blocks through the carriageway itself and natural lime-washed plaster. With the marble skirting and simple panelled doors the decorative scheme is restrained, practical and elegant.

a logo for Rud. Rasmussen Snedkerier

 

 

Kaare Klint worked with Rud Rasmussen Snedkerier from 1926 onwards and their cabinetmakers produced nearly all of his furniture and many of the fittings for the new museum in the old hospital as work on the restoration progressed.

In May 1944 Rasmussen celebrated their 75th anniversary and Klint designed a commemorative wood plaque to mark the occasion. That design is still the logo for the company whose workshops are on Nørrebrogade in Copenhagen.

 

cupboard by Rigmor Andersen

 

Rigmor Andersen (1903-1995) trained as an architect and then from 1928 she was one of Kaare Klint’s first students on his furniture design course before working in his studio. She exhibited works at the Cabinetmaker Guild’s annual exhibition. From 1944 through to 1973 she taught at the Royal Academy School of furniture.

This piece, a silver cupboard with drawers, is in Brazilian rosewood with ebony handles and brass hinges and lock and was made by Rud. Rasmussens Snedkerier. It may be the design that was exhibited at the National Museum in Stockholm in 1942 - a copy of that piece was made in 1948 for the Kunstindustrimuseet (now Designmuseum Danmark).

Note the bevelled edges of the doors that sit against the bevelled edge of the side and top boards to give an elegant slim line when the door is closed. This is reminiscent of the display cases designed for the museum by Klint and also made by Rud. Rasmussen. The brass hinges have the simplest possible shape and are set flush and on the inside of the doors the holes for hidden fixing pins are filled with plugs of dark wood for a very subtle decoration.

The drawers have a fine beaded edge - again giving an elegant framing line. Legs are formed from two pieces of wood forming an L shape for strength and given a slight profile at the base. Cross bars or stretchers hold the frame of the legs together allowing the legs to be thinner. The top edge of the leg frame is bevelled and given a set back, again to give it a subtle and elegant emphasis by, in effect, creating a slight shadow below the door.

 

The cupboard is on display in the Designmuseum in their current exhibition Cupboards, cabinets and chests.