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Step into the story of Finn Juhl throughout the decades, from the very beginning to the international fame, the iconic furniture and later the subsiding interest. 

Finn Juhl was born in Frederiksberg in Copenhagen on January 30th, 1912. His father, Johannes Juhl, was a merchant in the textile industry. His mother, whose maiden name was Emmy Goecker, passed away just three days after giving birth. In addition, Finn Juhl had a brother who was two years older than him. The timeline on this page takes its point of departure in the year 1930, when Finn Juhl is accepted at the Royal Danish Academy of Architecture.


The 1930s:

The Education, the Steady Paycheck and the Design Experiments


Finn Juhl graduates from Skt. Jørgen’s High School and is accepted at the Royal Danish Academy of Architecture, which is a part of the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts. In reality he dreams of studying art history, but his father opposes it. Therefore, Finn Juhl studies to become an architect under professor Kaj Fisker. 

As an eighteen year old Finn Juhl visits the Stockholm Exhibition per Kaj Fisker’s suggestion. Here, his eyes are opened to Erik Gunnar Asplund’s functionalistic buildings, that serve as the first signal that modernism has truly reached Scandinavia. At the exhibition he experiences the contemporary stylistic trends and the struggle between the old versus the new as expressed via architecture. The exhibition, the breakthrough of functionalism and his interest in modern art all help to shape Finn Juhl’s style, both as an architect and as a designer.


In 1934, Finn Juhl is hired at the prominent architecture firm run by Vilhelm Lauritzen, who also lectures at the academy, where Finn Juhl is enrolled. During his employment, the firm designs Copenhagen Airport and the new national broadcasting building - Radiohuset. In close cooperation with the architect Viggo Boesen, Finn Juhl is tasked with designing the interior of the building. Today Radiohuset still stands as an exemplary work of functionalism.

As time passes, work takes up all of Finn Juhl’s time and he ends up not completing his studies. Finn Juhl works for Vilhelm Lauritzen Architects until 1945, where he establishes his own design studio.


Finn Juhl debuts at the Cabinetmakers’ Guild Exhibition in 1937 in collaboration with master joiner Niels Vodder. This marks the beginning of a long and fruitful partnership between the two, which lasts more than twenty years.

The Cabinetmakers’ Guild Exhibition in Copenhagen is a vital opportunity for young designers to showcase themselves and their designs. 

At the exhibition, they attempt to rejuvenate the proud Danish design tradition and introduce a more modern expression. His contemporary design colleagues, Børge Mogensen and Hans J. Wegner, also partake in the exhibition.

Furthermore, Finn Juhl marries the dentist Inge-Marie Skaarup on July 15th in 1937.


Finn Juhl displays the Grasshopper Chair at his stand in 1938 during the Cabinetmakers’ Guild Exhibition.

Though, the animal-like chair attracts plenty of attention, the visitors at the exhibition find the chair too radical. Finn Juhl ends up purchasing both samples for himself, such that Niels Vodder does not suffer greater loss than necessary.

Due to the lack of commercial interest, the chair is not put into production. 80 years later, in 2018, one of the two original Grasshoppers is sold at the Art Curial auction in Paris for the price of EUR 319,000 (DKK 2.4 million).

1938 is also the year where the construction of the national broadcasting building (Radiohuset) begins.

Furniture designed in 1938: The Grasshopper Chair

Despite the fact that Finn Juhl studies architecture and not art history, art remains a continuing source of inspiration throughout his life. Photo: The Royal Danish Library, Pressehuset.

The Facade of the broadcasting building (Radiohuset). Photo: Vilhelm Lauritzen Architects.

Master Joiner Niels Vodder with whom Finn Juhl had a close collaboration for many years.

Finn Juhl seated in the Grasshopper Chair, launched in 1938.

The Grasshopper was relaunched in 2018. The photo shows the relaunched version of the chair at the broadcasting building (Radiohuset), built between 1938 and 1945. Today the building houses the Royal Danish Conservatory of Music.

The 1940s:

The Icons Take Shape


The sculptural and modern Pelican Chair and the accompanying Pelican Table are revealed in 1940 at the Cabinetmakers’ Guild Exhibition.

Critics describe the chair as a ”tired walrus” and a ”punctured tennis ball”. In reality, the chair is rather a torso, or body in itself, that comfortably embraces the seated person.

Finn Juhl’s grand interest in, and inspiration from, modern art is undeniable in the chair’s surrealistic interpretation of the human body.

Furniture designed in 1940: The Pelican Chair and The Pelican Table


The Poet Sofa is displayed at the Cabinetmakers’ Guild Exhibition in 1941. At the exhibition the Poet is showcased next to two plaster sculptures by the artist Sigurjón Ólafsson. With the approach of an artist, Finn Juhl designs the sofa's organic shape and managed to forge the relation between furniture and sculpture.

The sofa does not earn its famous nickname until 10 years later in 1951, when it appears in a popular Danish comic strip named ”Poeten og Lillemor” (The poet and his wife) by Jørgen Mogensen. In the comic strip, a young poet lies on the sofa, contemplating the peculiarities of life.

Furniture designed in 1941: The Poet Sofa


Despite the fact that Finn Juhl never finishes his formal education as an architect, he is in 1942 inducted as a member of the Danish Association of Architects and is thus accepted into the finer design circles. 

In the same year, Finn Juhl and Inge-Marie Skaarup build their house in Ordrup, north of Copenhagen. The house is built while employing an "inside-out" philosophy (planning the interior of each room, before deciding on the exterior of the house). Here, Finn Juhl finally gets to unify furniture design and arts and crafts in a modern and functional interior - a complete "Gesamtkunstwerk", entirely on his own premises.


Finn Juhl receives the C.F. Hansen Award for Young Architects.


Finn Juhl designs his own personal favorite - the Bone Chair, or NV 44 as it was originally called.


Finn Juhl leaves his job at Vilhelm Lauritzen to open up his own design studio at Nyhavn 33, specializing in interiors and furniture design.

The same year (1945) he becomes headteacher at the School of Interior, where he teaches until 1955. He remains adamant that an architect must help forming a draft or an idea for the interior of a building.
Today it is common for architects to design interiors too, however Finn Juhl's idea does not gain much traction during his lifetime. 

As a teacher, Finn Juhl places special significance on the interior of new buildings. His thoughts are compiled in the book "Hjemmets indretning" (The interior of the home), an admired work which is also published in multiple newspapers and magazines. 

In 1945, Finn Juhl also designs one of his most famous chairs - the 45 Chair. The chair's icon status is largely due to its organic lines and characteristic shape, where seat and back is lifted from the frame.

The characteristic design element, where the bearing and the born elements are separated, is truly groundbreaking.
It adds not only a sense of visual lightness and elegance, but also ends up manifesting Finn Juhl as an internationally acclaimed designer. 

Furniture designed in 1945: The 45 Chair, The Little Mother Sofa Two Seater, The Little Mother Sofa Three Seater, The Nyhavn Desk and The Kaufmann Table


Finn Juhl designs the Bing and Grøndahl store in central Copenhagen.

1946 is also the year that Finn Juhl designs the bold and organically shaped 46 Sofa. Additionally he also designs the 109 Chair and the 108 Chair this year.

Furniture designed in 1946: The 46 Sofa, The 46 Armchair, The 109 Chair and The 108 Chair.


Finn Juhl receives the Eckersberg Medal for his interior design work of Bing and Grøndahl's store.

Furniture designed in 1947: The 46 Chair


The 48 Series and The Art Collector's Table are launched at The Cabinetmakers' Guild Exhibition and Finn Juhl names the setup: "An Art Collector's Living Room". Finn Juhl also designs Sven Schauman's florist at Kongens Nytorv. Furthermore, at this time he designs a series of pieces for the furniture producer Bovirke, including the Bovirke table. The owner of Bovirke, Poul H. Lund, is the first person to see the potential in mass-producing Finn Juhl's pieces on an industrial basis. The result is light quality furniture, adapted to the modern lifestyle of the 40s with Finn Juhl's characteristic details. 


In 1948, Finn Juhl meets the director of the Department of Industrial Design at the Museum of Modern Art, Edgar Kaufmann Jr. A lifelong friendship blossoms between the two of them and Kaufmann becomes an important catalyst for Finn Juhl's career in the US. Years later, Finn Juhl describes how Edgar Kaufmann Jr. became his American guru and inspiration.

Furniture designed in 1948: The 48 Chair, The 48 Sofa Bench, The Art Collector's Table, The Silver Table, The Small Silver TableThe Eye Table, The Bovirke Table and The Ross Coffee Table.


In 1949, Finn Juhl presents his most famous and exclusive chair, the Chieftain Chair, at the annual Cabinetmakers' Guild Exhibition. The design critic Svend Erik Møller proclaims that "Finn Juhl is the undisputed premier furniture designer in the world".


At the guild exhibition King Frederik takes a seat and Finn Juhl is subsequently asked whether he should name the characteristic chair the King Chair. However, Finn Juhl's inspiration had been exotic and foreign cultures, so his response was simply: "it is designed for some chieftain".  

At the same exhibition Finn Juhl displays the Egyptian Chair. Much later, in 1975, in an interview with the Danish newspaper Politiken, Finn Juhl said that the inspiration for his 1949-display at the Guild Exhibition occured from a visit to the Louvre in Paris:
"Honestly, I stole the construction. Furthermore, I stole the right angle and curved back. It is important to note that I have been more amazed by the simplest and most elegant furniture from Egypt than I have with any other ancient furniture".


1949 is also the year where Finn Juhl truly steps into the public debate about furniture design and decoration. Many see him as a rebel when he interferes in discussions about the perception of the societal roles of architects. In addition to opposing the traditional wisdom of furniture design, Finn Juhl often criticizes the narrow scope and understanding of functionalism that reigned at the time. 


Finn Juhl's American friend and inspiration, Edgar Kaufmann Jr., publishes an article about him in the magazine Interiors. Kaufmann's article results in Mr. Hollis Baker, a furniture producer from Michigan, reaching out to Finn Juhl. He enquires about Finn Juhl's willingness to design a modern collection for him.

Furniture designed in 1949: The Chieftain Chair, The Egyptian Chair and The Butterfly Table.

The Pelican Chair does not enter into production during Finn Juhl’s lifetime. In fact, it seems to be forgotten until 2001, when Ivan Hansen and Hans Henrik Sørensen (founders of House of Finn Juhl) put it into production. Today, the Pelican Chair is one of the most famous Finn Juhl chairs.

The Poet Sofa at the Cabinetmakers’ Guild Exhibition in 1941.

The exterior of Finn Juhl’s house at Kratvænget north of Copenhagen.

Vintage photo from Finn Juhl's master bedroom. A glimpse of the 44 chair can be seen in the back of the photo.

Finn Juhl's watercolour drawing of the 45 Chair.

The interior of Bing & Grøndahl's store in Copengagen that Finn Juhl designs in 1946.

Finn Juhl’s 48 series on paper.

Finn Juhl sitting in the Chieftain Chair in front of his home in Ordrup north of Copenhagen.

Finn Juhl's watercolour drawing of the Egyptian Chair from 1949.

A look through the living room in Finn Juhl's house north of Copenhagen. 

The 1950s:

The International Breakthrough


In 1950, Finn Juhl participates in the Contemporary Danish Architecture as well as the Handcraft Guild, both exhibitions are held in London. In Denmark he begins designing private projects such as Mrs. Anthon Petersen's vacation home in Asserbo.


Enjoying the support of his friend, Edgar Kaufmann Jr., director of the Department of Industrial Design at the Museum of Modern Art in New York (MoMA), Finn Juhl makes his debut in the US. The stellar quality and the organic shapes are unprecedented in the US at the time and Finn Juhl's furniture thus becomes a symbol of good taste and individualism in the culturally aware and well-educated circles.

Furniture designed in 1950: The Wall Sofa


Finn Juhl is appointed as chief designer and architect at the exhibition Good Design in Chicago. 


In the same year, the Academic Council at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts tasks Finn Juhl with what will become his most prominent and famous design manifestation - the complete furnishing and design of the Trusteeship Council Chamber at the headquarters of the United Nations in New York. The chamber becomes an important milestone in coining the international term known as Danish Modern. Today the chamber is most commonly referred to as the "Finn Juhl Chamber".


In 1951, Finn Juhl also initiates a partnership with Baker Furniture, Inc. in Grand Rapids, Michigan. With a range of furniture including The Baker Sofa and The Cocktail Table, Finn Juhl defines the company's modern style of design. During this period Finn Juhl is increasingly inspired by the American lifestyle and his American design colleagues. This is expressed in the following years, when he designs furniture pieces that incorporates streamlined shapes, steel pipes and multi-colored drawers.

Furniture designed in 1951: The Baker Sofa, The Cocktail Table and The Cocktail Bench.


In 1952, the Trusteeship Council Chamber is inaugurated and the world opens its eyes to Finn Juhl. He participates in the Angewandte Kunst aus Dänemark exhibition in Zürich, Switzerland, re-designs Georg Jensen's Fifth Avenue store in New York and designs a room with his furniture at the National Museum of Decorative Arts and Design in Trondheim, Norway. The room is still part of the permanent exhibition at the museum.


In Denmark he designs timber merchant Mr. Aubertins family home in Nakskov.


In 1953, Finn Juhl's career takes off and due to his new international network he increasingly begins to draw on inspiration from abroad. He spends more and more of his time working abroad and partaking in international exhibitions, mainly in the US. Edgar Kaufmann Jr. introduces Finn Juhl to influential people from the cultural scene, among them Charles Eames and George Nelsson.


Despite the fact that the recognition of Finn Juhl does not manifest itself in a similar matter in Denmark, he launches a range of furniture with the Danish company Bovirke, inspired by his new international perspective.


Denmark is facing an industrialization of furniture production and the potential of new materials is being realized. Finn Juhl becomes an advocate for industrial production of Danish furniture and voices his criticism of the dependency on joiners in the Danish furniture tradition.


During the same year, Finn Juhl and the furniture producer France & Daverkosen, situated in Hillerød, Denmark, launch a collaboration which ends up lasting until 1969.

Furniture designed in 1953: The Nyhavn Dining Table, The Reading Chair, The Reading Chair - Veneer Seat, The 53 Chair, The 53 Sofa, The Table Bench, The Panel System, The 77 Sofa and The Chieftain Footstool.


Finn Juhl participates in the Home of Furniture exhibition in Copenhagen, marking the 400th anniversary of the Cabinetmakers' Guild. He is also on display at Georg Jensen's 50-year anniversary exhibition at the Danish Museum of Decorative Art (today Design Museum Denmark). Additionally, he curates the exhibition Fifty Years of Danish Silver in London, an exhibition that will travel to Washington D.C., Louisville, Dallas and St. Louis in the following years.

In 1954 Finn Juhl also designs the Danish stand at the 10th Triennale in Milan, for which he is awarded an honorary diploma.


Finn Juhl designs the cinema of Villabyerne in Vangede, Denmark, and receives a diploma from the municipality of Gentofte. He also designs the offices of France & Son in Hillerød.

In Sweden he designs a showroom apartment for the H55 exhibition (the 1955 world's fair in Helsingborg).

Furniture designed in 1955: The Sideboard.


During the mid-50s Finn Juhl designs a range of pieces well-suited for industrial production for France & Daverkosen (later France & Son). Despite the industrial production, the range of pieces preserves the characteristic details of Finn Juhl such as the organic shapes and the lifted seat and back.

The British company director "Mister" France produces the designs as "knock-down" furniture, meaning that they have to be assembled at the distributors site which makes it possible to reduce shipping costs to the export markets. France & Son kickstarts the Danish export of design and enjoys terrific success from an ambitious export strategy.

At one point during the mid-50s the company accounts for 60 percent of the total Danish furniture export. The company exports mainly to the US, but also to Germany and England where the company has a large showroom situated on Bond Street in London.


Finn Juhl is on display at the Neue Form aus Dänemark. This exhibition travels to eight German cities and Vienna, Austria.

Up until 1961 Finn Juhl also designs 14 Scandinavian Airlines ticket offices throughout Europe and Asia, as well as the interior of their DC-8 airplanes. In Toronto, he designs the Georg Jensen store.

Furniture designed in 1956: The France Chair


The longstanding collaboration with master joiner Niels Vodder comes to an end. It remains uncertain what the underlying reason is. However, Finn Juhl's frequent partnerships with various furniture producers and his interior assignments are likely two of the causes.

Finn Juhl relocates his office from Nyhavn 33 to Sølvgade 38 in Copenhagen. The partnership with Georg Jensen continues and he re-designs the company's store on New Bond Street in London in collaboration with architect Trevor Dannatt.

Finn Juhl designs the 57 Sofa for Bovirke and it is presented in the Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen. Additionally, Finn Juhl participates in the 11th Triennale in Milan, where he is awarded a gold medal.

Furniture designed in 1957: The 57 Sofa, The Japan Chair, The Japan Sofa Two Seater, The Japan Sofa Three Seater and The Japan Footstool.

Drawing of the colourful ceiling at The Trusteeship Council Chamber at The United Nations Headquarters in New York. Photo: Designmuseum Danmark, Pernille Klemp.

The organically shaped Baker Sofa designed by Finn Juhl in 1951. Paired with the Cocktail Table from the same year. Photo: Designmuseum Danmark.

Finn Juhl photographed in The Trusteeship Council Chamber at the headquarters of the United Nations in New York in 1952.

Edgar Kaufmann Jr. and Finn Juhl. Photo: Design Museum Denmark.

Finn Juhl's furniture exhibited at Bovirke's stand at Købestævnet in Fredericia in 1953. Photo: Design Museum Denmark. 

The cinema of Villabyerne in Vangede, Denmark. Photo: Designmuseum Danmark.

Two France Chairs as part of Finn Juhl's interior of the residence of the Royal Danish Embassy in Washington D.C. Photo: Designmuseum Danmark.

Finn Juhl's office at Sølvgade 38 in Copenhagen. Photo: Designmuseum Denmark.

Finn Juhl’s interior of The Trusteeship Council Chamber at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. Photo: Designmuseum Danmark.

The 1960s:

International Format and One Last Experiment


Finn Juhl decorates the residence of the Royal Danish Embassy in Washington D.C. The same year (extending into 1961), his works are part of the Arts of Denmark exhibition that is on display at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, Washington D.C., Chicago and Los Angeles.


Finn Juhl enters into a romantic relationship with the music publisher, Hanne Wilhelm Hansen. During 1961 she moves into the residence in Ordrup, where she lives until the time of her passing in 2003.


Finn Juhl receives The Kaufmann Award for International Design.


Finn Juhl partakes in the Cabinetmakers' Guild Exhibition where he displays a bedroom which was originally designed for Hanne Wilhelm Hansen. The bedroom is experimental in its expression and stands in stark contrast to much of Finn Juhl's earlier work. He consciously seeks out a different expression and the room invokes a playfulness in terms of shapes and materials. It may seem as though Finn Juhl longs for freedom in his designs, after the hectic years of the late 1950s, where he was a staple at international exhibitions, designed numerous pieces and expanded his office.

Finn Juhl's experimental 1961 exhibition was met by heavy criticism, especially from designers of the Klint school, where all unnecessary decoration was banned. The critique was especially harsh from Børge Mogensen and Arne Karlsen, who review the 1961 Cabinetmakers' Guild Exhibition in a joint effort.
Finn Juhl takes a humoristic stance when responding to the criticism: "But why should we take the joy out of everything? It is completely wrong of these two stern critics to warn the young against using their imagination - and pointless too, by the way, for they will probably do so, no matter what" he rebutted. Curiosity and inventiveness are defining characteristics of Finn Juhl's work both as an architect and a furniture designer. This became especially apparent at the 1961 exhibition.

During the same year, Finn Juhl designs the Glove Cabinet. The small and exclusive cabinet is presented alongside the bedroom furniture by master joiner Ludwig Pontoppidan at the Cabinetmakers' Guild Exhibition.

During the 1960s, the frequency with which Finn Juhl designs new furniture drops. He also moves his office to his private residence in Ordrup.

The 1961 Guild Exhibition marks Finn Juhl's 25th and final participation. A few years later, in 1966, the exhibition is hosted for the final time.

In 1961, Danish furniture manufacturing arrives at a crossroad between the proud traditions of the internationally acclaimed Danish Modern movement and the inevitable future dictated by industrial production. The golden years of Danish design have come to an end - in part because the objective of the period has been achieved. Modern shape and design have conquered the market for common taste. Functionalism no longer belongs to the avantgarde furniture designers.

Furniture designed in 1961: The Glove Cabinet


Finn Juhl designs Anders Hostrup-Pedersen's, CEO of Georg Jensen, vacation home in Rågeleje.


The Bing & Grøndahl store expands, and Finn Juhl is responsible for the interior design.

During the 1960s Finn Juhl designs a series of rug patterns for the Danish carpet manufacturer Vittrup. However, the carpets never enter into production. The circular patterns guide the mind towards the wildness of the Swinging Sixties. The trend was later embraced by designers such as Verner Panton.

The patterns are now in production at House of Finn Juhl.

Furniture designed in 1963: The Circle Rug and The Undyed Circle Rug.


Finn Juhl is the recipient of the I.D.A. award of design in Chicago.


Finn Juhl is hired as a visiting Professor at the Institute of Design in Chicago, where he teaches shapes and design to aspiring American designers.

Finn Juhl designs the restaurant of the Richmond Hotel.

In 1965, Finn Juhl also designs the Tray Table, which is a further development of his 1956 Turning Trays.

Finn Juhl sits in an international jury tasked with appointing the recipient of an honorary design award. The jury is ordained by art collector and multimillionaire, Edgar Kaufmann Jr., who was the former head of MOMA's design department.

This was the very same Kaufmann who discovered Finn Juhl during a visit to Denmark and invited him to the US. Kaufmann introduced Finn Juhl to the American design stage and connected him to a strong network. The two formed a life-long friendship, which became monumental to the development of the Danish Modern movement in America throughout the 1950s. Curiously, Edgar Kaufmann Jr.'s parents commissioned the famous "Fallingwater" house by Frank Lloyd Wright in Pennsylvania as a vacation home, a site that is now on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Finn Juhl visited the estate multiple times as a guest.

Furniture designed in 1965: The Tray Table


Finn Juhl redesigns Hanne Wilhelm Hansen's music publishing store in Gothersgade, Copenhagen. Today the space houses the showroom of House of Finn Juhl.


Finn Juhl participates in the exhibition Two Centuries of Danish Design at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London.

Juhl is on display at the exhibition A Century of Danish Design at Kelvingrove Museum in Glasgow and the Whitworth Art Gallery in Manchester.


Finn Juhl partakes in the Exhibition of Arts and Craft in Brussels.

Hanne Wilhelm Hansen and Finn Juhl.

Finn Juhl's furniture exhibited at The Cabinetmakers' Guild Exhibition in 1961. Photo: Designmuseum Denmark.

In the journal Arkitekten, Børge Mogensen and Arne Karlsen are depicted as the valiant knight and his faithful squire, who made the heads of their colleagues (including Finn Juhl, fifth from left) roll in the furniture feud of 1961-1962. Photo: Arkitekten.

Summerhouse built by Finn Juhl for Anders Hostrup-Pedersen in Rågeleje, Denmark.

The famous vacation home, "Fallingwater" in Pennsylvania. Photo credit: Design Museum Denmark.

Watercolour drawing of the exterior of Hanne Wilhelm Hansen's music publishing store in Gothersgade, Copenhagen.

Watercolour drawing of Finn Juhl's redesign of Hanne Wilhelm Hansen's music publishing store in Gothersgade, Copenhagen.

Finn Juhl's exclusive and colourful Glove Cabinet designed in 1961.

The 1970s:

Fading Interest


Finn Juhl participates in a retrospective exhibition of his own works at Charlottenborg's Autumn Exhibition.


Finn Juhl is the recipient of a life-long grant as set forth in the Danish Finance Act.


Finn Juhl displays his own pieces in Cantu, Italy.


Finn Juhl is appointed as Honorary Royal Designer for Industry in London.


The production of Finn Juhl's furniture rapidly subsides in this decade. The last production in Denmark ceases in the mid-70s. Baker Furniture from the US still holds some of the production rights and produces select models, unfortunately of very poor quality.

Finn Juhl sees the writing on the wall and it is clear to him that the interest in his life's work is in retrograde. The studio has moved to his private residence at Kratvænget 15, where he still employs one person to update and complete the rather comprehensive archive of workshop drawings and watercolor paintings he has developed over the years.

Finn Juhl's office setup at his home at Kratvænget north of Copenhagen. Photo: Haarkon.

Besides his office Finn Juhl also had a large desk in the living room at his house at Kratvænget in Ordrup.

A look through Finn Juhl's own house, where he decided to work from during the 70s.

The 1980s:

The Rejuvenation of Interest from Japan


The member's magazine of the association of Furniture and Interior designers in Denmark titled Rum og Form issues a special edition, dedicated to Finn Juhl. The editors praise Finn Juhl as being one of the first to educate interior designers and hire them in his studio. In the magazine, his ability to master and manipulate both shape and material in such a way that it becomes coherent, eventful and with the human body in mind is highlighted. As part of the special edition magazine a long article by Mike Rømer is printed, in which he interviews Finn Juhl. This becomes a comprehensive and important piece of documentary into Finn Juhl's life and legacy. The interview is reproduced in the book "FINN JUHL & Onecollection" from 2012.


Finn Juhl turns 70 this year and displays his pieces and other works at a retrospective exhibition at Kunstindustrimuseet (known today as Designmusem Denmark) in Copenhagen. At this exhibition, which turns out to be Finn Juhl's last, the 20-year old Henrik Sørensen meets the architect himself. The meeting leaves a profound impression on the young furniture salesman, who later establishes the company that is granted the exclusive production rights to Finn Juhl's furniture alongside his friend Ivan Hansen. It thus turns out to become a pivotal moment in the renaissance and relaunch of Finn Juhl's furniture universe worldwide.

In the early-80s Finn Juhl also meets the Japanse illustrator, furniture collector and professor, Noritsugu Oda. The two hit it off immediately and become friends.

Oda has published multiple works about Danish furniture design as well as amassed a unique collection of furniture tallying more than 1,200 chairs, predominantly Danish. After the meeting Oda always visits Finn Juhl whenever he travels to Denmark.


Finn Juhl is awarded the knighthood of Dannebrogsordenen.


Professor Noritsugu Oda is once again visiting Denmark. He has arranged a meeting with his friend Finn Juhl but is met with sad news as he steps off the plane. Hanne Wilhelm Hansen calls him to share the news of Finn Juhl's passing earlier in the day. Finn Juhl passes away on May 17th, 1989. Despite the passing, Hanne Wilhelm Hansen invites Oda to the residence at Kratvænget.

This visit will prove vital to the spread of awareness regarding Finn Juhl's furniture and accomplishments. Noritsugu Oda decides to host a commemorative exhibition in Finn Juhl's honor the following year in Japan. The exhibition receives donations from around the globe and Oda succeeds in putting together a collection of pieces that represents Finn Juhl's life's work.

The exhibition is on display in Osaka, Kyoto, Tokyo and Asahikawa. It is met with immense interest from the Japanese audience.


Finn Juhl lives just long enough to experience the early rejuvenation of interest that many of his pieces have enjoyed since.

The cover of the special edition of the magazine Rum og Form from 1981. Photo: Rum og Form.

Finn Juhl's retrospective exhibition at Kunstindustrimuseet (known today as Designmuseum Denmark) in the autumn of 1982. Photo: Designmusuem Denmark.

Noritsugu Oda (far left) and Finn Juhl (sitting in the Chieftain Chair) in the house at Kratvænget in Ordrup. Photo: Gyldendal/Ordrupgaard.