Finn Juhl originally designed the Armchair 46 for master cabinetmaker Niels Vodder and displayed an early example at the Cabinetmakers Guild Exhibition in 1946. Finn Juhl then designed an armless version for Bovirke in 1947 – which is now simply known as the 46 Chair because it originates from the 46 Armchair. Both the 46 Chair and the 46 Armchair represent the very best of Danish Modern furniture design.
Finn Juhl gave visual lightness to his chair by clearly separating carried and carrying elements: the frame, beautifully crafted in oak or solid walnut, supports a seat and backrest covered in textile or leather.
Wood oak or walnut
Seat and Back upholstered with fabric or leather
Dimensions L52 / 62 x P53 x H82 cm – Seat height 44 cm
white oiled oak
clear lacquered oak
clear lacquered walnut
As a teenager, Finn Juhl (1912-1989) wanted to become an art historian, having a passion for the fine arts since childhood. His father stopped him and Finn Juhl started architectural studies. Later, when his fame as a designer of furniture acquired, he speaks of himself as an autodidact, in reference to this upset vocation that forced him to walk intellectually on a lonely way. His style owes much to this singular trajectory, with its non academic interpretation of art visible in his work. Finn Juhl started his studies in 1930, a key period which saw the birth of modern design and furniture.
His modern offices in central Copenhagen was greeting his visitors with a huge Japanese fish in paper, symbol of imagination. Rather than thinking in terms of practical construction, Finn Juhl had the mind-set of a sculptor, when he shaped a piece of furniture. In the 1940s and 1950s, this way of working had never been seen before. His ambition was to design furniture with movement and life.
Juhl took pride in making both the structurally supportive elements of the furniture and the seated person look as though they are floating. In some of his chairs, the backrest and the seat are almost invisibly joined, as if they were clouds floating through the room.
In creating his furniture, Finn Juhl worked with two elements: The carrying element, and the carried. He eventually became known for his special ability to separate the bearing parts from the borne. This is one of many examples of how he broke free from conventional working methods and found his inspiration in art.