Sigurd Persson (1914 – 2003) Swedish metalworker & glassware designer

A set of three sterling silver candlesticks , ca. 1965–1970 designed by Sigurd Persson
A set of three sterling silver candlesticks , ca. 1965–1970 designed by Sigurd Persson

Sigurd Persson (1914–2003) was a Swedish sculptor, blacksmith, and professor who is regarded as one of the twentieth century’s most influential Swedish designers. Growing up in a goldsmith family, Persson founded his studio in Stockholm in 1942. Throughout his long career, he crafted objects in various materials ranging from metal to glass to plastic. Aside from various homes in Scandinavia and elsewhere, Persson’s designs can be found in the collections of several museums, including New York’s MoMA, Paris’ Musée des Arts Décoratifs, and London’s Victoria & Albert Museum.

Sterling silver coffee pot , 1985 designed by Sigurd Persson
Sterling silver coffee pot , 1985 designed by Sigurd Persson

Biography

In 1941, he founded his silver workshop and began designing jewellery and cutlery. He designed the cutlery for the Kooperative Forbundet in 1953. (Cooperative Society of Sweden). He worked as a designer at the Kosta Boda glassworks and produced in-flight tableware for several airlines. He wrote the book Modern Swedish Smycken (1950).

Jetline Cultery (1959) by Sigurd Persson
Jetline Cultery (1959) by Sigurd Persson
Ring designed by Sigurd Persson, Sweden. 1993
Ring designed by Sigurd Persson, Sweden. 1993

Recognition

Over his career, he received the following awards;

  • He won medals at the 1951 (IX), 1954 (X), 1957 (XI) and 1960 (XII) Triennali di Milano, 
  • 1959 competition for cutlery sponsored by Scandinavian Airlines (included in the 1983—84 ‘Design Since 1945’ exhibition at the Philadelphia Museum of Art), 
  • 1970 Prince Eugen Medal, 
  • 1967 Swedish Prize for Artists, and Gregor Paulsson Trophy.

Exhibitions

His work was the subject of the following;

  • 1961 one-person exhibition at the Malmé Museum. 
  • Work was shown at 1950 Swedish exhibition, 
  • 1954—57 USA ‘Design in Scandinavia’ travelling exhibition, 
  • 1954 Sydney exhibition, 
  • 1955 Pforzheim exhibition, 
  • 1955 “H 55” exhibition in Halsingborg, and 
  • 1956 Havana exhibition.

Sources

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

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