modern art chair and fj 64 chair - finn juhl

Launch of the Modern Art Chair & the FJ 64 Chair in Milan

Modern Art Chair

In 1948, the Museum of Modern Art hosted a design competition for chairs that should be ready for industrial production and retailed at low prices. This was not exactly Finn Juhl’s area of expertise as he had become famous for his incredibly elegant and detailed handcrafted furniture. Nevertheless, Finn Juhl decided to submit his entry. This decision may have been based on the fact that Finn Juhl had met and established what turned out to be a lifelong friendship with Edgar Kaufmann Jr., who, at the time, was the director of the Industrial Design Department at MoMA. It was also Edgar Kaufmann Jr. who introduced Finn Juhl to the American design industry.

The result of Finn Juhl’s entry for the competition, was a beautiful and sculptural armchair in polyamide. Unfortunately, Finn Juhl did not win the competition. The winner, however, was Charles and Ray Eames with their famous plastic chair, which has since been produced by the millions.

FJ 64 Chair

At the Milan fair, The Modern Art Chair was not the only new face in the crowd. It was accompanied by another plastic chair that was designed in 1964, also by Finn Juhl – a small, stackable chair which is large in shape and finished with notches that are typical of Finn Juhl. These details add movement and elegance to the chair. The frame is constructed from slim, painted metal legs that are finished with small wooden toes. The name of the chair is FJ 64 and is, similar to many of his other models, named after the year in which it was designed.