Steel’s constructive potential is not the only thing that interests me; the refraction of light on its surface is an important part of my artistic work. I consider steel a material with the same artistic merit as wood and leather.
Poul Kjaerholm 1929–1980
Furniture designer Poul Kjærholm was a significant figure in Danish modern design uniquely blending craftsmanship and industrial production. Trained as a cabinetmaker in Hjørring, Denmark in 1949, he later studied furniture design at the Danish School of Arts and Crafts in Copenhagen, graduating in 1952. In 1955, he was hired by the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts as a lecturer and also designed the, now iconic, school’s desks. In 1976 he was welcomed back as a professor.
Kjærholm’s timeless designs are functional and durable. He often worked in steel, leather and glass, placing importance on the relationship of the piece to its environment. Kjærholm received many awards throughout his career including two Grand Prix at the Milan Triennale, the Lunning Prize in 1958, the Eckersberg's Medal in 1960, and multiple ID awards. In 2006, Kjærholm was the subject of a major retrospective at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Denmark. His work is included in the permanent collections of museums around the world, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York where designs are featured throughout the galleries and restaurant. Poul Kjærholm died in 1980.