Designers Series – Ejner Larsen & Aksel Bender Madsen

Siv and Siri are such a handsome pair! Designed by Ejner Larsen and Aksel Bender Madsen the quality of design shines through and they really epitomise the best in Danish midcentury furniture making.

The designers, Larsen and Bender Madsen, emerged from a strong design tradition having met and trained at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Art in the late 1930s under the godfather of the Danish modern design movement Kaare Klint.

In 1947 they began to design together and from the mid 50s they also worked with renowned cabinet maker Willy Beck. Over the years they created some classic midcentury pieces of furniture and their partnership and friendship lasted until Larsen’s death in 1987.

They embraced Kaare Klint’s design philosophy, (which heavily influenced the Danish Modern movement), of the importance of function in design, that design must not only be beautiful but also useful for its practical purpose, pragmatic design which emphasised the character of the natural materials he favoured. Their designs were rooted in this approach and were clean and simple in their styling.

(And could they look any more like Danish midcentury gents!)

They exhibited widely in Denmark and also internationally at La Triennale in Milan, Italy, in the USA at the Design in Scandinavia exhibition and “The Arts of Denmark” exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, in 1960

Their most well known piece was probably the Metropolitan Chair designed in 1949 and viewed as a classic of the midcentury era. It is still manufactured today by the Danish furniture maker Carl Hansen.

I found a quote attributed to Madsen, (although I have been unable to locate the source) in which he said “What Ejner Larsen and I have made has always been in line with the principles we learnt from Kaare Klint about what is functional and what is natural. The requirements made set the design.”

The balance of beauty with function in these designs is one of the reasons furniture from this period has endured and remains loved and sought after to this day.

These armchairs are not among the most well known of Larsen & Bender Madsen’s designs but they perfectly encapsulate their design philosophy and have a simplicity which I love, (& hope you do too!)

 

You can find information & photos of the pieces, (AND there is also a matching sofa!) on the website, and they are available for sale in their full vintage glory or for bespoke restoration if you have a particular colour or fabric in mind. The pieces are available separately or as a suite, just drop me a line for more details.

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