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New permanent exhibition on Danish Design in the 20th Century

Danish Modern

Danish design is known and loved – both at home and abroad. But what led to its success, which designs are central, and who are the major Danish designers of the 20th century? The exhibition 'Danish Modern' unfolds the story of Danish design from the 1920s to the 1970s, focusing on the creation of some of the most iconic Danish design objects.

Danish Modern is an era, a style, a national brand. The style gained popularity in the mid-20th century and quickly became popular in the West. But what lies behind the notions of Danish Modern? In a new permanent exhibition, Designmuseum Danmark explores how Danish designers have methodically worked with design processes and tells the story of the success behind Danish design.

A farewell to the Victorian home
Modernists viewed the era’s crowded living rooms with heavy furniture, velvet curtains, carpets, plants, and an abundance of knick-knacks as an example of everything wrong with design and decoration. Danish Modern thus became their rebellion against the ‘style confusion’ they believed prevailed until the 1920s.

The exhibition Danish Modern invites the audience on a design journey from furniture professor Kaare Klint’s ‘Room for a Woman’, over Finn Juhl’s organic and elegant furniture to Verner Panton and Nanna Ditzel’s avant-garde pop designs. In short, a fascinating journey through everything we now know as Danish design icons mixed with unknown designs by well-known designers.

Danish chairs from floor to ceiling
Danish Modern also brings back the popular ‘chair tunnel’ in a new, larger version with 125 chairs, both highlights and unknown chairs, from floor to ceiling. It tells the story of how Danish furniture draws inspiration from historical types from other countries. The chair tunnel is like a family tree of chair relationships and includes chairs from both Danish and international designers – Hans J. Wegner, Arne Jacobsen, Nanna Ditzel, Cecilie Manz, Charles Eames, Marcel Breuer, and Jasper Morrison.

Danish Modern on the world map – who are the designers?
The museum has created a large, brand-new Danish Modern ‘theater’, a comprehensive scenography that places the various designers in Danish and international design history. Why did Danish Modern break through internationally in 1949? Who were the individuals who shaped Danish Modern? We are presented with the designers’ personal belongings, thoughts, drawings, exhibition, and archive material.

Experience designs by Rigmor Andersen, Mogens Koch, Ole Wanscher, Børge Mogensen, Lis Ahlman, Grethe Meyer, Kay Bojesen, Gertrud Vasegaard, Poul Kjærholm, Hans J. Wegner, Finn Juhl, Arne Jacobsen, Henning Koppel, Per Lütken, Axel Salto, Poul Henningsen, and many more.

The exhibition opened on 7 June 2024.