THE DANISH CHAIR An International Affair
Check out our wonderful and diverse world of chairs. We’ll tell the story of how Danish design became an international brand. Learn more about the many types of chairs that illustrate the 20th-century Danish success story and the export adventure we call Danish Modern.
The chair is the piece of furniture that is closest to human beings. It touches and reflects the body that sits on it, with arms, legs, seat and back. It is a designer's touchstone and design history's favourite object. And the chair is one of the most culture-bearing design objects.
It tells almost everything about the time and the culture it was created for. It gives the person that sits in it a status and identity, and its connection with royalty, judges, bishops, writers and other specific roles reminds us of the many historical associations with chairs.
See a selection of icons from the exhibit
"The chair is the piece of furniture that is closest to human beings. You can give it the personal touch."
A wonderful world of
The exhibit The Danish Chair offers a diverse and global selection of chairs, with a focus on chairs from Denmark. It shows how recent Danish furniture design can be seen with roots far back in history and in foreign cultures.
With an emphasis on the golden age of Danish furniture design, 1920-1970, the exhibit allows visitors to experience about 100 Danish and a handful of international chairs shown as individual works of art – from wooden chairs to armchairs to folding chairs, lounge chairs, dining-room chairs and rocking chairs.
The challenging chair
“The chair is a very difficult object. Everyone who has ever tried to make one knows that. There are endless possibilities and many problems – the chair has to be light, it has to be strong, it has to be comfortable. It is almost easier to build a skyscraper than a chair.”
– Ludvig Mies van der Rohe
“Denmark became internationally known for its many approaches to the modern chair in the 20th century. Generations of Danish furniture architects have measured, studied and found inspiration in the historic furniture found in Designmuseum Danmark’s collections.
With this new presentation of our enormous chair collection, we hope to give our guests an overview of the Danish chair’s roots as well as a look at the chair as a culture-bearing and artistic object. We want to communicate Danish Design’s DNA through the chair, which is one of the strongest representatives of the development of Danish design”.
– Exhibit curator Christian Holmsted Olesen
Before you visit
Do you wish a quick intro to Danish design? We have created a podcast series of three episodes that will give you an intro to our museum, the ‘Danish Modern’ period and Danish design today.
You will get to know world famous designers like Hans Wegner, Børge Mogensen and Arne Jacobsen. And how these great pioneers still inspire designers in Denmark and around the world.
You will get an understanding of the qualities that makes Danish design special. From the famous chairs from the Golden Age of Danish design to the modern solutions of today, where designers bring important issues like sustainability and environmental issues into their designs.Listen to the podcast here
About the exhibit
The exhibit has been created with generous support from the Augustinus Fund and it is designed by the industrial designer Boris Berlin, who has constructed an ingenious installation that places each chair in a frame like a work of art.