Erik Magnussen (1884 – 1961) Danish silversmith and designer

Console set in Sterling silver and ivory, designed by Erik Magnussen
Console set in Sterling silver and ivory, designed by Erik Magnussen

Danish silversmith – Art Deco and Cubist works

Erik Magnussen was a silversmith and designer from Denmark. He lived in the United States from 1925 to 1939, first as artistic director of the Gorham Manufacturing Company in New York City and subsequently with his workshop in Chicago and Los Angeles.

Early Life

Magnussen was born on 14 May 1884 in Frederiksberg, Copenhagen, the son of author and translator Johannes Julius Claudi Magnussen and Hedvig Charlotte Claudine Sommer.

Magnussen worked as a sculptor’s apprentice at his uncle’s art gallery, Winkel & Magnussen, from 1898 to 1901. He also studied sculpting under Stephan Sinding, a Norwegian artist located in Copenhagen, and silver chasing with Viggo Hansen (1859–1930), a silversmith. He worked as a chaser at Otto Rohloff’s workshop at the Unterrichtsanstalt des königlichen Kunstgewerbe-Museums in Berlin, Germany, from 1907 to 1909.

Denmark

Magnussen returned to Copenhagen and founded his jewellery and silver workshop, where he created pieces in Georg Jensen and a variety of silver products. In 1912, he closed the company and acquired a position as director of the Department of Arts and Crafts at Bing & Grøndahl, where he designed gold and silver-plated porcelains. He left Bing & Grondahl in 1913 to start his silver workshop once more. 

Magnussen worked for the P. Ipsens Enke terracotta foundry from 1921 until 1925. He continued to produce jewellery and won the top prize at the International Exposition in Rio de Janeiro in 1922 with one of his designs.

  • Cubic Coffee Service in Silver with patinated and gilt decoration, designed by Erik Magnussen
  • Modern American footed bowl and pair of candlesticks engraved with bands of stylised triglyphs designed by Erik Magnussen.
  • Console set in Sterling silver and ivory, designed by Erik Magnussen
  • An opal and sapphire pendant by Erik Magnussen circa 1918

United States

Magnussen immigrated to the United States in 1925 and established a studio in New York City. In the same year, he was engaged as artistic director of the Gorham Manufacturing Company to revitalize its line of domestic silverware. Initially, he created Neoclassical pieces with domes, vines, talons, tulips, and fluting as decorative features.

He gained notoriety in 1927 when he designed a tea set influenced by Cubism. On the other hand, Magnussen’s work for Gorham began just as the Great Depression hit, and his work did not sell well. In 1929, he left Gorham to work for the German firm August Dingeldein & Sohn in New York. He relocated to Chicago in 1932 to start his workshop. In 1933, he relocated it to Los Angeles and shuttered it in 1939.

Denmark (1939 – 1951)

Magnussen returned to Denmark in 1939. Due to a shortage of materials following World War II’s end, he primarily manufactured jewellery.

Works

Magnussen’s early jewellery was in the Skønvirke style, which was popular in his local area. They are RenĂ© Lalique-inspired in their use of insects and semi-precious stones. His works from his time in America are designed in the Art Deco style, using cubism and skyscraper construction as inspirations.

Sources

Byars, M., & Riley, T. (2004). The design encyclopedia. Laurence King Publishing.

Wikipedia contributors. (2021, April 28). Erik Magnussen (silversmith). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 23:25, May 28, 2021, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Erik_Magnussen_(silversmith)&oldid=1020301389

You may also be interested in

Art Deco Books from Amazon – Encyclopedia of Design

Art Deco, also known as Deco, is a visual art, architecture, and design style that originated in France shortly before World War I. Buildings, furniture, jewellery, fashion, automobiles, movie theatres, trains, ocean liners, and everyday items like radios and vacuum cleaners were all inspired by Art Deco.

Leif Erik Rasmussen Danish architect and furniture designer – Encyclopedia of Design

Leif Erik Rasmussen is a Danish architect and furniture designer. He studied furniture design at Kunsthåndværkersklen, Copenhagen to 1968. From 1968, he was active in the architecture firm Krohn & Hartvig Rasmussen on the project Odense Universitet-Center and, from 1972, with architect Ole Hagen on the Handlsbankens Hovedsæ project, In 1975 he set up his own architecture office and in 1978, a partnership with Henrik Rolff.

Fredericia Furniture acquires Erik Jørgensen Møbelfabrik – Encyclopedia of Design

Fredericia Furniture will be one of the complete portfolios of classic and contemporary design furniture, with Erik Jørgensen Møbelfabrik, rooted in the Danish design tradition. When Fredericia Furniture bought Erik Jørgensen Møbelfabrik on 1 October, two of Denmark’s most traditional furniture manufacturers became one. The Ox Chair of Hans J.

Sydney Art Deco by Peter Sheridan – Encyclopedia of Design

Longlisted for the Indie Book Awards 2020 for Illustrated Non-Fiction* For the first time, Sydney’s Art Deco buildings of the 1930s and 1940s are identified and gloriously displayed with contemporary photographs alongside archival images. Sydney Art Deco explores the impact of the Art Deco style on the landscape and life of Sydney during the 1930s and 1940s.

Comments are closed, but trackbacks and pingbacks are open.