Nanna & Jørgen

1921 Jørgen Ditzel was born at Frederiksberg, Copenhagen, Denmark 1939 Jørgen began training as an upholsterer 1940-1944Jørgen studied at the Arts and Crafts School in Copenhagen Graduating from the school’s furniture department in 1944 1923 Nanna Hauberg was born in Copenhagen, Denmark 1943 Nanna graduated as cabinetmaker from Richard’s School

Nanna Ditzel, a leading Danish 20th-century designer, had also worked in furniture, textiles and jewellery design for many decades and has been one of the few women designers in the country to achieve celebrity status.

Education

After studying under the highly influential furniture designer Kaare Klint at the Academy of Arts in Copenhagen, she moved to furniture design, a field in which her classic design for children’s high chairs (1955), the Ring easy chair (1957) and the Hammock chair (1957) in wicker attracted critical attention.

Nanna Ditzel’s ND54 Dining Chair is a beautiful and enduring piece of design, adaptable to the needs of growing children.

Biography

She was married in 1946 and worked with her husband on a wide range of products, including several for the silversmith Georg Jenson, for whom she had worked since 1954. After her husband died in 1961, Ditzel’s furniture took on a more experimental edge, exploring the potential of foam and fibreglass, materials used by several avant-garde designers, such as Verner Panton.

A set of two brooches by Nanna Ditzel

A set of two silver brooches, each a circular disc partially divided in half, in a larger (a) and smaller size

Silver brooch, with ten v-shaped bars joined in centre designed by Nanna Ditzel
Silver brooch, with ten v-shaped bars joined in centre designed by Nanna Ditzel

Textiles

During this period, she also worked on some striking textiles, including the celebrated Hallingdal series (1964), which has remained in production for several decades. In 1968, Ditzel remarried and moved to London for almost twenty years. During that time, she designed for some Danish and British companies.

Modern Rug | Kirkland Museum

Design Date c. 1960 Designer Nanna Ditzel (1923-2005, Danish) & Jørgen Ditzel (1921-1961, Danish) Manufacturer Unika-Voev, Copenhagen, Denmark Media wool Dimensions 122 x 88 inches The husband and wife team of Nanna and Jørgen Ditzel studied furniture design together at the Kunsthandvaerkskolen in Copenhagen and collaborated on furniture designs as well as textiles.

Return to Copenhagen

After returning to Copenhagen in 1986, at the beginning of the 1980s, she began working for Fredericia, a leading Danish manufacturer with a reputation for high-quality furniture. This relationship marked yet another new direction in her career, the Bench for Two (1989) and the dramatic red and black plywood Butterfly chair (1990) that marked a shift in the profile of Fredericia—the embracing of the avant-garde. Ditzel’s chair Trinidad, Tobago table (both 1993) and Tempo chair (1998) followed. Ditzel received many awards during her long and distinguished career, including the Lunning Prize in 1956, the Silver Medals at the Milan Triennali in 1951, 1954, and 1957, followed by the Gold Prize in 1960, and the ID Prize for her Trinidad Chair in 1995.

Nanna Ditzel "Egg Chair" Hanging Chair 1959 by Robert Wengler, Denmark
Nanna Ditzel “Egg Chair” Hanging Chair 1959 by Robert Wengler, Denmark

Sources

Woodham, J. Ditzel, Nanna. In A Dictionary of Modern Design. : Oxford University Press. Retrieved 1 Feb. 2021, from https://www-oxfordreference-com.ezproxy.csu.edu.au/view/10.1093/acref/9780191762963.001.0001/acref-9780191762963-e-247.

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