Hans Wegner

2nd April 1914 - 26th January 2007

Photo of Hans Wegner
Born in southern Denmark in 1914, as a child Wegner worked as an apprentice to H. F. Stahlberg - a master cabinet maker. It was during this period of his life that he developed his love of wood as a chair-making material: a material that was used in the majority of his pieces throughout his life. After finishing his apprenticeship at the age of 17, he continued to work with Stahlberg for a further three years before joining the army. A stint at technical college followed, before Wegner completed his education at the Danish School of Arts and Crafts and Copenhagen's Architectural Academy.

In 1940, Wegner worked with Arne Jacobsen and Erik Møller in fitting out the town hall in Aarhus. In the same year, he started to work with modern design master Johannes Hansen, and Wegner's first chair was purchased by the Copenhagen Industrial Art Museum in 1942. He opened his own studio in 1943, and in the following year, produced the first of his Chinese Chair series, which were inspired in their design by the Chinese Emperors and themselves inspired many of Wegner's future designs.

It was in 1949 that Wegner produced one of his most iconic pieces: the Wishbone Chair. A collaboration with Carl Hansen, the Wishbone Chair was one of a series of chairs based on a painting of Danish merchants seated on traditional Ming chairs.

Designs such as the 1950 Flag Halyard Chair and the 1963 Shell Chair further cemented Wegner's reputation as a founder of the Danish Modern movement: pieces that still remain as iconic and relevant today as they did when they were designed. Major design prizes for Wegner included the 1951 Lunning Prize, the Grand Prix of the Milan Triennale in the same year, the Danish Eckersberg medal and more: testament to the success of his expertise in combining form with functionality.

Products by this designer