Sunday, February 17, 2013

CARL HANSEN & SONS Showcases New Acquisitions

reporter: Miguel Dominguez

Carl's Grandson Erik Knud Hansen

On January 25th, at the showroom in Tribeca, Knud Erik Hansen, CEO and third generation of family-run, global company Carl Hansen & Son, introduced classic furniture designs of Kaare Klint, Mogens Koch, and Ole Wanscher to an American audience. With these pieces, Carl Hansen & Son, the world’s largest manufacturer of Hans J. Wegner designs, expands its offerings of Danish masters.

Although long known in Denmark and throughout Europe, Ole Wanscher’s Egyptian and Colonial Chairs, Mogens Koch’s Folding Chair and Kaare Klint’s Safari Chair have had little exposure in the US except to avid enthusiasts through direct sales, auction houses and antiques dealers. As of now, as Knud Erik Hansen explained, these designs which Carl Hansen & Son has recently acquired the license to produce, mark the beginning of an expansion into a wider offering of classic Danish designs to complement their Hans J. Wegner oeuvre.

Carl Hansen & Son opened its first US showroom in October 2011 in Tribeca. The US division is headed up by Thomas Vagner. Carl Hansen & Son is distributed by DWR, and other retailers across the country. 

Knud standing by the beautiful and very
comfortable Cuba Chair

Every item of furniture produced by Carl Hansen & Son reflects over 100 years of furniture history with respect and passion for craftsmanship. This company is the world's largest manufacturer of furniture designed by Hans J. Wegner, and their portfolio also includes designs by Mogens Koch, Kaare Klint, Ole Wanscher and others. Carl Hansen & Son has 165 employees. The furniture is produced in Denmark and sold all over the world.

In addition to showing new products, the New York showroom also demonstrated what is involved in making the furniture that it sells. Kent Henriksen, a master craftsman from Carl Hansen’s factory was flown in to show the audience how much time and dedication is involved in upholstering the CH445 Wing Chair by Hans J. Wegner.

In another area, an exhibition on Wegner’s Wishbone Chair, now over 60 years old, shows its separate parts and components, helping people understand that the chair’s smooth and simple form belies the incredible craftsmanship and hard work necessary to produce it; for each Wishbone chair, there are over 100 production steps, most involving manual work

NYC Catering  bar offerings and delicious Hors d'oeuvres makes them a much anticipated treat
to guests at all Carl Hansen & Sons events.

Kaare Klint's influence as a professor at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Furniture School in Copenhagen from 1924-54 led to a renewal of Danish furniture design. His teaching and designs were radical at the time as he focused heavily on functional analysis, the best materials and uncompromising craftmanship.

Designed by Kaare Klint, the Safari chair has been a design gem since its debut in 1933. With its simple functionality, it has become a true modern classic.Being one of the world's first 'build-it-yourself' pieces of furniture this easy chair is all about functionality. It can easily be assembled and disassembled without tools, making it ideal for being on the move. The Safari chair´s obvious companion is the matching Safari stool made after the same simple 'knock down' principle.

Mogens Koch's Folding Chair made its debut in 1932. The chair was intended to be a tribute to the classic director's chair. Designed as part of a church interior furnishing competition, the chair was given a fairly tepid reception, as many at that time viewed it as too radical in its expression. What is unique about the design is that the chair stabilizes itself automatically when you sit in it, ensuring seating comfort. The chair is also very easy to pack away due to its simple folding mechanism, with the mounted brass rings providing smooth movement. The wooden frame and brass connections demonstrate Mogens Koch's great love for simple Scandinavian furniture craftsmanship, where the beauty is in the details.

It was not until 1960 that design connoisseurs began to show an interest in it. As its popularity increased and it came to the attention of more people, it was put into mass production. Rud Rasmussen took over production in the 1980s, and working closely with Mogens Koch, returned it to its original design parameters. Today, Carl Hansen & Son has acquired the manufacturing rights to this chair and is bringing it to the US commercially for the first time.

Today, the Folding Chair is internationally recognized as Mogens Koch's most eminent design. Knud Erik Hansen, CEO of Carl Hansen & Son, says: "The Folding Chair is a unique design achievement with unique stability. You can see clear indications of Mogens Koch's characteristic design philosophy of function over form."

Mogens Koch's modular bookcase system

Knud flanked by Architect Michel Franck and Aquavit restauranteur and
Scandinavian furniture collector Hakan Swahn

Ole Wanscher (1903-1985), whose furniture designs are now considered classics, was an architect and professor of architecture, specializing in furniture design. Treating furniture design as if it were a branch of architecture, Wanscher paid utmost attention to construction and form. He studied under and apprenticed for Kaare Klint (who’s Safari Chair Carl Hansen & Son is also producing) and later followed in his footsteps to become a professor at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts. His most well known designs were created between the late 40s and early 60s and are characterized by their slim dimensions and resilient forms. His chairs often employ both slender and slightly curved armrests, which rise in an elegant tip before continuing down/ His designs are a perfect complement to Carl Hansen & Son’s present product catalogue of furniture designed by Hans J. Wegner, Kaare Klint, Mogens Koch, and others

Ole Wanscher's Colonial Chair, designed in 1949, also known as OW149 wasn’t put into production until the mid-50s by PJ Furniture. Wanscher and PJ’s collaboration started via Gunnar Bratvold, Editor of Mobilia, a very influential furniture and design magazine at the time, who was bored of what he saw in his magazine and called many of the Danish architects up and asked if they had anything new. He then matched them with appropriate manufacturers, which was how the chair was born. The name “Colonial” relates to Wanscher’s fascination with 1700 English furniture design. The chair has been in production since that time, but mainly in Europe or coming to the US through auction houses and antiques dealers. Now that Carl Hansen & Son has taken over the production, the chair will be widely distributed in the US for the first time.

Considered one of the "Top Ten Stools" in the Truth In Decorating section of ELLE Decor's
March/2013 issue, the Egyptian Folding Chair by Ole Wanscher was prominently displayed
at the event

During his Egyptian excursions, Wanscher became fascinated with the old seats that historically represented power with a sense of dignity and elegance, and he designed the chair with this in mind. This chair clearly brings to light Wanscher’s inspiration while remaining modern and functional. Also known as OW2000, Wanscher’s Egyptian Folding Chair was first designed and produced in 1957 before being taken out of production in the 1970s. It wasn’t until 2000 that Danish cabinet maker PJ Furniture finally put this true classic back into production but distribution was limited. Recently, Carl Hansen & Son has acquired the manufacturing rights for this design and will be distributing it in the US for the first time.   

Oak, cotton webbing and leather are the components of Ole's 1949 Day Bed

Morten Gøttler, born in 1944, is a renowned Danish furniture designer MDD, with a true feeling for wood. His style has its roots in modern Scandinavian design tradition with a focus on a simple and light look. His products are characterized by such keywords as close attention to detail, quality materials and exquisite comfort.

The Cuba Chair recalls the classic Barcelona chair

Morten Gøttler designed in 1997 the Cuba Chair, a light and flexible folding chair that fits well in the modern living room, in the open kitchen or similar. The chair can easily be stored by either hanging on the wall or by being placed in a stand on the floor.

Kent Henriksen shows Melissa Shelton,
Carl Hansen & Sons Sales Manager in
America, his hand upholstering technique

dacops, Carl Hansen & Sons' favorite DJ for their events, really knows how to set
a perfect mood for socializing

To See More Photos of this Event, CLICK HERE

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