Kaare Klint – Inspiring an entire generation of designers

Filed under Anniversaries on December 15, 2016

In remembrance of Kaare Klint, on his day of birth.

Kaare Jensen Klint (12.15-1888 – 03.28-1954) furniture designer and artist, influenced (and continues to influence) furniture-designers, by emphasizing an analytic approach, and artisanal processing.

He started out studying to be a painter, but quickly chose architecture, mainly because of his father, architect and painter P.V Jensen Klint, who went on to be a great inspiration to Kaare Klint´s later work.

Kaare Klint furniture, has often been referred to as “human furniture” – he believed, that furniture should be created with the human body, and the way it moves, in mind. Therefore, he based his designs on thorough studies of the human body. A way of thinking, that clearly projects in his furniture-designs – along with his profound respect for materials and quality. He believed that it was studies of function, technology and materials that should determine the aesthetic design.

1914 was the year, in which he designed his first piece of furniture – the “Faaborg”chair for Faaborg Museum. One of many designs, to spawn from Kaare Klint´s mind. He designed a series of furniture, that went on, to become the very definition of Danish craftsmanship – amongst other, of course the iconic “Safari chair” from 1933, and the just as iconic “Propeller stool”, designed in 1930 and produced in 1962.

In the 1920´s he remodeled the “Frederiks Hospital” into what is known today, as the Danish Museum of Decorative Art, situated in central Copenhagen. A fun fact is, that the museum named their cafeteria “Klint” in Kaare Klint´s honor.

Come 1924, he obtained a professorship, at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts under which, he co-founded The School of Furniture Design. He was a strong theoretical and analytical mind, and it was particularly his careful methodology, that he passed on to his students. Kaare Klint was a professor at the academy, until his death in 1954.

His teachings, and way of thinking design, influenced and inspired furniture designers such as Hans J. Wegner and Arne Jacobsen over Poul Kjærholm and Børge Mogensen. All people who defined, what was to become, the golden age of Danish design (mid-century modern design), from 1945 to 1975. The “Klint school” was a reaction to the central European functionalism use of new materials and simplified processes. He had a very close cooperation with Rud. Rasmussen Carpentry, which still produces many of his classic furniture designs today.

After his father’s death in 1930, Kaare Klint completed his monumental, Grundtvig´s church in Copenhagen. Construction had started in 1921, but was not completed until 1940. He also designed the Bethlehem Church, also in Copenhagen, based on his father’s sketches. It was built from 1935 to 1937. The Bethlehem Church was the first church, to feature chairs instead of benches – The “Kirkestol” (church chair) with woven seagrass (French braid) designed by Kaare Klint in 1936 (produced by Fritz Hansen)

Last but not least, we want to let you in on a small family tradition, from Kaare Klint’s childhood home. The Iconic folded paper screens, were at that time, only made for himself, and his friends to use. They worked hard to refine this new shade and in return, received one as a gift of gratitude for their time. In 1943 the Klint family craftsmanship became a real business led by Kaare Klint´s brother, Tage Klint. The business we know today, as Le Klint (which Tage named after his daughter, Lise Le Charlotte Klint) This allowed Tage to pioneer a new decisive detail to the lampshades, in the shape of an elastic collar. The pleated screens, continues to claim their position in the lighting field, as a significant part, of the overall expression of Le Klint lights.

Amongst several others, the Le Klint 306, of which we currently have one in stock:


Happy birthday Kaare Klint, from all of us here at Danish Vintage Design!

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