Own a piece of classic Danish furniture as seen in the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art
Perched on the Øresund strait, half an hour to the north of Copenhagen, the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art is one of the most forward-thinking institutions of our time, a picturesque setting for a world class art collection and incubator of temporary shows that transcend disciplinary boundaries. It is also a prime example of Danish architecture – an 1870s villa surrounded by three modernist pavilions, low-slung and clad with brick, wood and grey-green Swedish marble, connected by glass-walled passages that let in generous views of the leafy surrounds.
To ensure that every element of the museum would draw from the same understated forms and palette of natural materials, architects Vilhelm Wohlert and Jørgen Bo had designed a series of furnishings and accessories, which continue to be used within their buildings to this day. This autumn, to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the museum, some of these items will be available for sale for the first time, via the Louisiana Butik gift shop.
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Alongside the furniture pieces are a series of black anodised aluminium accessories by Wohlert, designed for the museum and made available to the public for the first time. Photography: Lars Ranek
The highlight of the offering is the Louisiana Chair, designed by Wohlert in March 1957 in anticipation of concerts at the museum. Made out of painted beech, with a curved backrest and a circular foam rubber seat covered in blue-green vinyl, the chair is comfortable, perfectly proportioned, and easy to manufacture.
Its most innovative feature, however is only evident when it is stacked. Instead of having one chair sit directly on top of another, the Louisiana chair is stacked by rotating them slightly and inserting one of the back legs between the legs of the chair below, allowing for a higher, sturdier stack that takes on a sculptural appearance. Initially made by P Jeppesens Møbelfabrik, the chair has been relaunched by Shanghai-based furniture brand Stellar Works, now with a black lacquered ash frame and warm grey leather seat. In addition to anchoring the anniversary retail offering, the chair will also populate the Louisiana Café once again, bringing the space closer to Wohlert’s original vision.
The Louisiana chair, shown here in its original design, stacks like a turning torso for increased stability. Photography: Jens Frederiksen
Stellar Works, who have produced Wohlert’s archival designs since 2012, have also revived Wohlert’s ceiling lamp, originally made for the museum’s galleries, library and café. Made in solid copper, with white-lacquered metal louvers, it recalls the old lamps that adorned sculptors’ studios at the Royal Danish Academy of the Arts, and blends seamlessly with the slatted pine ceilings and white brick walls throughout the museum. Though a mass-produced version by Louis Poulsen was available in the 60s, this is the first time the original design has been sold.
Complementing these items are a tray, wastepaper basket and candleholder, made of anodised aluminium (some with rattan accents) and sporting clean cylindrical forms. There are also two containers, simply named high box and low box, intended for storage of cigarettes and candies respectively. Once embellishments to Louisiana’s library and lounge area, where museum-goers could gather for refreshments and pore over books and magazines, these designs have weathered their age handsomely, and are now available to take home. §
An archival image from 1958, the year the museum opened, shows the terrace and pergola populated with Wohlert’s Louisiana chair, with the Lantern Gallery in the background. Photography: Jesper Höm
Photographed in 1960, the library and lounge area of the museum featured the Wohlert’s Louisiana lamp and black anodised aluminium accessories. Photography: Lenneart Larsen