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Arne Jacobsen (Danish, 1902-1971)


Also known as:  ARNE JACOBSEN

Birth Place: Copenhagen

Arne Jacobsen (February 11, 1902 - March 24, 1971) was a Danish architect and designer, known best for his contributions to the Functionalist movement, including his designs for simple yet effective chairs. He was greatly influenced by artists and designers Le Corbusier, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, and Walter Gropius.

Jacobsen was born in Copenhagen and studied at the School of Architecture at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts. While he was still in school, Jacobsen was awarded a silver medal for his chair design submission to the Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes.

In collaboration with fellow architect Flemming Lassen, Jacobsen won the House of the Future award from the Danish Architect’s Association, and it was this success that granted him the ability to open his own practice in 1929. In the years that followed, Jacobsen designed and created numerous structures exclusively in the International Modern Style. In addition, he dedicated himself to the idea of “total design,” in which he cohesively designed everything from the building’s employee uniforms to the furniture inside the buildings.

Forced to flee Denmark during World War II, Jacobsen went to Sweden, where he designed wallpaper and textiles. After returning to Denmark in 1945, he continued his architectural passions with projects including The Number Seven Chair and The Ant. The critical acclaim of these works spearheaded Jacobsen’s reputation as a world-famous furniture designer.

His most important commission came in 1956, when he was asked to design the SAS Royal Hotel in Copenhagen. Jacobsen created everything down to the smallest of details, including ashtrays and cutlery. Highly acclaimed in this project were his Drop, Egg, and Swan chairs, noted for their sculptural and organic characteristics.

In 1956, Jacobsen became a professor of architecture at the Skolen for Brugskunst.

Jacobsen died unexpectedly in 1971, with several large projects underway, but they were completed by the firm Dissing+Weitling, founded by his former employees Hans Dissing and Otto Weitling.

Jacobsen’s pieces are held in several permanent collections and museums throughout the world, including The Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Design Museum in London, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

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