Multitalented genius and father of modern Danish furniture Design.
Professsor Kaare Klint at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, 1944.
A central figure in Danish design, Kaare Klint (1888-1954) made a name for himself as a furniture designer in the early 1900s. He was responsible for design icons like the 1914 Faaborg Chair, the overall design of the Danish Pavilion at the 1929 Barcelona International Exposition, and the worldrenowned Safari Chair, designed in 1933.
The Safari Chair (1933) was possibly one of the first self-assembled furniture items: it features glueless joints and can be put together and taken apart without the use of tools.
The son of architect Peder Vilhelm Jensen-Klint, Kaare Klint was immersed in architecture from an early age, but it was primarily as a furniture designer that he made his mark on Danish architecture. In 1924, Kaare Klint helped establish the Department of Furniture Design at The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, and the following year was made associate professor and later professor. As a teacher, he inspired a number of prominent Danish furniture designers who would shape the golden age of Danish design from 1945 to 1975. Through his teaching and his own work, he influenced a generation of the greatest Danish furniture designers and architects - from Hans J. Wegner and Mogens Koch to Arne Jacobsen, Børge Mogensen and Poul Kjærholm.
Today, Kaare Klint appears in many ways to have been a reformer whose approach to architecture and design broke radically with the period - and style-focused academic teaching of the day, emphasizing instead the practical study of architecture and furniture design principles. In Klint's process, in-depth analysis of an object's function and uses preceded work on its form. He renewed Danish furniture design by refining tradition and developing objects to perfection in relation to their primary purpose.
The Red Chair Series: Kaare Klint designed the Red Chair for the lecture hall of the Danish Museum of Decorative Art (now Designmuseum Danmark) in 1927. The chair design was successively expanded into a series, completed with smaller variants designed to fit the dining table and a larger variant with armrests, designed especially for the Danish Prime Minister, Thorvals Stauning's, office.
From the outset, Klint focused on furniture's purpose and function, as well as on ensuring that his pieces never dominated a given space. Characteristic of his approach is the harmonious balance between form and materials, often combined with reminiscences of earlier styles or foreign cultures. His were objects of timeless utility whose form and function united to create a greater whole.
Klint possessed an outstanding sense of proportion and space. His furniture is often referred to as human furniture, as he believed that it should conform to the user and based his classic designs on careful study of the human body. By virtue of their simple, functional qualities, timeless design, and uncompromising craftsmanship, many of his furniture designs have become more sought-after today than ever before.
Kaare Klint's sectional sofa, The Addition Sofa (1933), is a flexible, modular concept combining a simple construction with perhaps the most advanced form for upholstery technique.