Poul Kjærholm 1929-1980Danish furniture is usually attributed to the cultivation of wood and carpentry, as a national distinction. One exception to this rule is Poul Kjærholm. He broke with wood’s dominace and considered spring steel with the same artistic quality.
Poul Kjærholm’s designs form the culmination of a golden age in Danish design and express a perfection which has no comparison. His furniture, which has a classic character, created a new interpretation of furniture’s aesthetic qualities. The simple form and noble treatment of the material makes the furniture a complete harmonious unity and something completely unique in furniture design.
Poul Kjærholm’s artistic goal is characterized by a formal clarity which expresses the material’s special characteristics to such a degree that the individual parts of which the furniture is made, can be considered in their entirety.
He could revise apparent unambiguous results and create new independent solutions.
Poul Kjærholm was one of the few furniture designers, who put his designs into a architectural frame of reference. The furniture had to support and complete the architecture. One example is the concert hall at Louisiana, where Poul Kjærholm designed the furniture. Here, he accentuates and varies the architectural theme in such a way that ease and intensity are created in the room, entirely in the spirit of the building.
In exhibitions, he also had considerable results, which often became a milestone. The most common material was spring steel, which was combined with wood, leather, cane, canvas, flag rope or vellum. But he also used laminated and steam-formed wood for furniture. Poul Kjærholm has, as lecturer and then as professor at the Academy of Fine Arts Furniture School, continued many of Kaare Klint’s teachings, and thereby enjoyed considerable influence on the following generation of Danish furniture designers.
Completed carpenter apprenticeship, 1949
Architect Hans J. Wegner, 1950-52
Furniture designer, Arts & Crafts School, 1952
Academy of Fine Arts Furniture School
Fritz Hansen’s Furniture Factory, 1952-53
Teacher at Arts & Crafts School, 1952-56
Professor Erik Herløv, 1953-55
Teacher at Academy of Fine Arts Furniture School, 1955
Professor Palle Suenson, 1955-59
Lecturer in Furniture and Room Art, 1959
Grand Prix at Trienalen in Milano, 1957 & 1960
National Association for Danish Arts & Crafts Annual Prize, 1957
Gran Prix for exhibition at Trienalen, 1960
Eckersberg medal, 1960
Knud V. Engelhardt’s commemorative scholarship, 1964
La Prix de la Critique de la Biennale des Arts Graphiques, 1968
Funiture producers association’s annual prize, 1972 & 1977
ID prize, 1972
Has also furnished and designed furniture for:
Tårnby City Hall, 1959
Fredericia City Hall, 1963
Kalundborg City Hall, 1970
Restaurant Den Sorte Ravn, Nyhavn, 1972
Louisana Concert Hall, 1975
Lunch restaurant in the Royal Porcelain Factory, 1977
Restaurant Kanalen, Christianshavn, 1979
In connection with his own creations and other Danish Arts & Crafts designers, he has produced important and trendsetting exhibitions.
Has designed furniture for:
Fritz Hansen, Allerød, 1952-53
Rud. Rasmussen Carpentry, 1955
PP Furniture, Allerød
Most of the furniture was produced by Ejvind Kold Christensen.
From 1982 this production was taken over by Fritz Hansen.