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Arne Hovmand-Olsen’s Woven Pieces

Updated: Feb 14




Arne Hovmand-Olsen was a renowned Danish furniture designer known for his unique woven pieces. Born in 1919 in Kirkeby Sogn, Hovmand-Olsen embarked on his career in furniture design through an apprenticeship with Peder Olsen Sibast at his furniture factory.


Arne Hovmand-Olsen Dansih cord Chair

He further honed his skills by enrolling in a technical school specializing in furniture design in Århus in 1941.

After graduating, Hovmand-Olsen established his furniture studio, where he created designs in the Scandinavian modern style. His pieces were characterized by their simplicity of form, clean lines, organic curves, and tapered legs. Hovmand-Olsen's designs often showcased the beauty of natural materials, such as teak, and incorporated woven elements in their construction.


Arne Hovmand-Olsen Sansih cord Chair

One of his notable designs is the Model 175 Chair (1955), which is often mistaken for N.O. Møller's Model 71 Chair due to their similar forms.


The Design Controversy Behind the Moller Chair 71: Arne Hovmand-Olsen's Influence


Regarding iconic furniture designs, the Moller Chair 71 is often heralded as a masterpiece. This Danish modern dining chair loved for its elegant silhouette and exceptional craftsmanship, has left a mark on the design world. However, a longstanding controversy has surrounded its origin – was it truly the brainchild of Niels O. Moller, or did Arne Hovmand-Olsen play a significant role? Let's explore the controversy and the evidence supporting Hovmand-Olsen's involvement.


Collaboration and Similarities:


Arne Hovmand-Olsen, a highly acclaimed Danish furniture designer, and Niels O. Moller, the founder of the esteemed Danish furniture company J.L. Moller Mobelfabrik, were contemporaries who shared a deep passion for creating stunning furniture pieces. Their close association and collaboration have fueled the belief that Hovmand-Olsen had a hand in the design of the Moller Chair 71.


One of the main arguments supporting this theory lies in the striking resemblance between Hovmand-Olsen's Chair 175 and the Moller Chair 71. Both designs feature the characteristic organic and minimalistic forms of modern Danish furniture. The proportions, the gently curved backrest, and the expertly crafted wooden frames resonate harmoniously in both chairs, leading many to question the pure coincidence of these similarities.


Historical Context:


To understand the controversy better, examining the context in which both designers were active is crucial. During the mid-20th century, Danish furniture design was a dynamic and collaborative field, with designers often influencing and inspiring each other. This exchange of ideas and shared artistic vision played a crucial role in developing iconic designs we admire today.

Arne Hovmand-Olsen was known for his exceptional craftsmanship and unique design sensibility. His work exemplified the beautifully crafted aesthetic that defined Danish modernism. As part of this creative milieu, it is plausible that Hovmand-Olsen's influence could have found its way into the Moller Chair 71, even if the exact extent is yet to be entirely determined.


The Significance of Attribution:


The question of attribution is not just a matter of historical accuracy; it carries significance for preserving the legacy and contributions of these great designers. Assigning credit where it is due is crucial in recognizing the talent and creativity that went into designing iconic pieces. While Niels O. Moller is accredited as the sole designer of the Moller Chair 71, it is worth considering the possibility that Arne Hovmand-Olsen's contributions deserve acknowledgement as a collaborator or influential force as they were close friends.


Conclusion:


The debate surrounding the design attribution of the Moller Chair 71 to Arne Hovmand-Olsen adds an intriguing layer to the history of Danish furniture design. While disagreements persist, the shared design elements and close collaboration between Hovmand-Olsen and Niels O. Moller suggest that Hovmand-Olsen likely played a significant role in creating this iconic chair.

Whether one staunchly supports the traditional attribution to Moller or advocates for recognition of Hovmand-Olsen's contribution, it is undoubtedly a testament to the talent and legacy of these two remarkable designers. Ultimately, this controversy invites us to appreciate the rich history of Danish modern furniture and the artistic collaborations that shaped its evolution.





Hovmand-Olsen also collaborated with various furniture manufacturers, including Alf Juul Rasmussen, A. R. Klingenberg & Søn, Bramin, Elven Geertsen, J.L. Møller, Jutex, Mogens Kold Møbelfabrik, P. Mikkelsen, Pedersen & Knap, and Skovmand & Andersen.


Arne Hovmand-Olsen's MK 310 chair


Regarding restoration and repair, Caning Canada is well-versed in handling Hovmand-Olsen's woven pieces. For example, the restoration of the Arne Hovmand Olsen MK 310 Danish Dining Chair involved removing old material and installing Danish hook nails before weaving the new Danish cord. Arne Hovmand-Olsen's chairs use staples as fasteners. Caning Canada will replace these staples with Danish hook nails to ease future Danish cord restorations.


Arne Hovmand-Olsen's MK 310 chair and Hans Wegner's W2 chair are iconic Danish design pieces from the mid-20th century. While they may have distinct features, there are some similarities between the two:


Scandinavian Design:


Both chairs exemplify the principles of Scandinavian design, known for their clean lines, simplicity, and functional elegance. They showcase a minimalist aesthetic that is timeless and versatile.


High-quality Craftsmanship:


Both chairs were meticulously crafted with a focus on using high-quality materials. They feature exquisite detailing and joinery techniques, showcasing the skilled craftsmanship associated with Danish design.


Despite these similarities, it's important to note that each chair has distinct design elements and characteristics. These unique qualities contribute to their individual appeal and recognition in the world of furniture design.



Teak and Paper Cord Stool


Another beautiful example is the teak and paper cord stool designed by Arne Hovmand-Olsen in 1950. The stool features a unique combination of teak and paper cord, with Danish cord available in natural or beige, white, and black. Changing the colour of the Danish cord can further update or personalize the piece.




Hovmand-Olsen's Danish side table for Mogens Kold


Furthermore, Hovmand-Olsen's Danish side table for Mogens Kold, dating back to the 1960s, showcases his craftsmanship. With a sturdy two-tier design, the bottom magazine shelf is supported by handwoven cane or rattan. If the cane on the second shelf needs replacement, it can easily be removed and sent to Caning Canada for restoration.





Arne Hovmand-Olsen's woven pieces are visually appealing and showcase the skillful craftsmanship in Danish furniture design. His clean lines, organic curves, and integration of woven elements make his designs timeless and versatile. Whether through restoration or personalization, these pieces continue to be cherished for their beauty and functionality.





Arne Hovmand-Olsen Sansih cord Chair

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