FINN JUHL (1912 – 1989)
Finn Juhl was born in Copenhagen, Denmark on January 30, 1912. Juhl was the very first Danish furniture designer to become internationally famous and accepted. From 1930 to 1934 Finn Juhl studied architecture at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen and then, until 1945, he worked at the architect’s office of Vilhelm Lauritzen.
Early on Finn Juhl was interested in the design of furniture and for his whole life Juhl liked to proudly underline that furniture design was something he taught himself. Already in the 1930s Finn Juhl started to design furniture – although in the beginning almost exclusively for himself. Then, in 1945, he opened his own studio: afterwards it did not take very long until Finn Juhl became famous for his unusual and very expressive designs.
However, Finn Juhl had already caused a big outcry five years earlier in 1940: At the age of 28, at a carpenters´ exhibition Juhl presented his armchair ”Pelican“. For that time this was a very unusual and eccentric armchair design with a curved and very expansive backrest. 18 years later Arne Jacobsen revived Finn Juhl’s use of form in his designs „Swan“ and „Egg“, and in that way Juhl helped the young Jacobsen to make his breakthrough.
Finn Juhl’s „Cheftains Chair“ from 1949 was not less exciting. To illustrate this: the “Lounge Chair” by Charles and Ray Eames was only presented 7 years later.
Because of the above mentioned and countless other ground-breaking designs, Finn Juhl was seen as a pioneer of the modern age with lots of sense and feeling for colors and forms early on. For the rest of his life Finn Juhl designed countless other pieces of furniture and worked as an architect on different houses.
Finn Juhl died at the age of 87 on May 17, 1989.