Poul Henningsen, manufactured by Louis Poulsen & Company, PH "Artichoke" Lamp, 1958, copper, steel, and enameled metal, the MFAH, museum purchase with funds provided by the Design Council, 2000.
August 26, 2012–January 27, 2013.
Source: Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
The MFAH first acquired examples of modern Finnish glass in 1954, and in recent years the museum has built on this history by acquiring outstanding objects by architects, designers and manufacturers such as Georg Jensen, Orrefors, Alvar Aalto, Bruno Mathsson, Kaj Franck, Timo Sarpaneva, Tapio Wirkkala, Poul Henningsen, Finn Juhl and Verner Panton.
The objects created by designers active in Denmark, Finland, Sweden and Norway during the 20th century embody a distinctive aesthetic typified by an emphasis on high-quality design distributed widely through mass production. Often Minimalist, and characterized by clean lines, the Scandinavian design movement originated with a 1950s design show that traveled to the United States and Canada to showcase Nordic designers and the “Scandinavian way of living.”
Scandinavian design influenced the development of Modernism in North America and Europe, and it continues to shape decorative arts today.
Highlights of the exhibition include a pair of armchairs designed by Hans J. Wegner in 1949 and a glass decanter created by Kaj Franck circa 1957.