Although not the most
famous of Danish designers, Jens Harald Quistgaard (JHQ) should be credited
with bringing Danish design into the most American homes. Quistgaard's
legacy runs deep within the design world. In a historical context, he
is now known as Denmark's first industrial designer. There were many fine
designers before him, but he was able to successfully apply his craft
to mass produced goods in ways that had not been done previously; through
innovation and close collaboration with manufacturers.
JHQ was born in 1919 and trained as a sculptor and craftsman in childhood.
His talents were significant and he went on to apply his vision to an
unprecedented array of products in wood, glass, metal, and ceramics. Although
his career was put on hold by World War II, he co-founded Dansk with the
American Ted Nierenberg in 1954 and went on to design such classics as
Fjord flatware, the staved teak line of table ware, Kobenstyle cookware,
and many other very successful lines.
away on January 4, 2008 at his home in Denmark. The New York Times
featured an excellent obituary
summarizing his long and productive life, during which he won numerous
design awards and was featured in museums around the world, including
New York's Museum of Modern Art and the Louvre.
The Danish Pepper
book goes into much more detail on Quistgaard's life and work, with
a focus on his amazing series of salt and pepper mills for Dansk.
working in his studio.
Photo © Dansk International Designs