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      Jacksons Berlin Opening Exhibition in Stockholm

      • Jacksons Berlin Opening Exhibition Photo #1
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      May 2, 2008 - August 23, 2008


      Sibyllegatan 53
      Stockholm, Stockholms län Stockholm,

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      Jacksons Berlin Opening Exhibition

      Hedvig Hedqvist

      It is interesting when someone looks at our family heritage with new eyes. When Paul Jackson with roots in the UK, some decades ago started to collect our grandparents furniture, textiles, glass and ceramics many of us were surprised. He was not aware of that sell-by-date-marking had passed? But we were wrong and he gave us a lesson about remarkable modern design quality. Now he is spreading his knowledge to a wider public. The items in this exhibition are chosen with feeling and knowledge.

      During the last century Scandinavian design became well known worldwide by people interested in contemporary styles. The “trade mark” Scandinavian Design was first used after World War II when Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden, in a joint adventure made a travelling exhibition in USA. This was good timing as the Museum of Modern Art in New York was spreading the message of Good Design. Simultaneous the design school, Cranbrook Academy with Finnish headmaster architect Eliel Saarinen, was developing new standards for American design in collaboration with Scandinavian teachers and his students at the time, Harry Bertoia, Charles and Ray Eames and Eero Saarinen.

      The break through for the Scandinavian design was much earlier. It was at the World fair Exhibition for Decorative Arts and Industrial Design in Paris 1925. The small Scandinavian countries surprised the public with a new and fresh simplicity, compared with more luxurious movements from the countries in central Europe.
      Denmark introduced new modern neoclassical furniture designed by the architects Kay Fisker, Kai Gottlob, and Kaare Klint and ideas about the electrical non-dazzling lamps introduced by Poul Henningsen.
      Sweden showed in a white temple like pavilion examples from the interior of the two-year-old Stockholm City Hall with Carl Malmsten, as the leading designer of the furniture. Perhaps the greatest attraction was the grace of the new creative glass, designed by Simon Gate and Edward Hald for Orrefors. Finland could not afford to have a pavilion but the young State had ideas for future exhibitions, where they would profile their image with progressive design. The modern movement in the North started three decades earlier proclaiming cooperation between manufactures and designers inspired by British John Ruskin, William Morris, the Arts & Crafts movement and the appeal of Deutscher Werkbund.
      The Swedish society for Industrial Design and crafts was very active and started an agency to link the industry with artists. A good example was the co-operation with the iron foundry Näfvevarns bruk. A competition in 1917 between leading Swedish artists and sculptures resulted in a range of cast iron urns and garden furniture that won great acclaim when later exhibited in the Swedish pavilion in Paris 1925 exhibition.
      Especially young architects and artists felt challenged by this new co-operation. Among them in Sweden, Carl Westman and the circles around him, as well as the young architects, Gunnar Asplund and Sigurd Lewerentz famous for the cemetery Skogskyrkogården and the City Library of Stockholm.
      The department store NK, became an important introducer of modern design and their furniture department collaborated with designers like Carl Bergsten (architect of the Swedish Pavilion in Paris 1925) and Axel Einar Hjort, who was clever in is his interpretation of international art deco.

      At the Paris Exhibition 1925 the visiting Scandinavian designers were introduces to the new International Style by Le Corbusier and the Bauhaus School. This attracted many of the young Scandinavian architects. Gunnar Asplund, Sven Markelius and Alvar Aalto managed to translate the message to a more social and natural context by using laminated bent wood instead of tubular steel. At the World fair exhibition in New York 1939, Sweden was represented by designers like Josef Frank, Sven Markelius and Bruno Mathsson. The newspapers called it Swedish Modern.

      When the next generation of designers appeared on stage, they had strong competition from their heritage. Amongst them was Danish architect Poul Kjaerholm, he as well as Wegner was a pupil of Kaare Klint. They were aware of good quality and fine cabinet making, but exceeded using steel and other materials in a clever way with a very good feeling for shapes and proportions. The Finnish architect Antti Nurmesniemi and some of his colleagues in the same generation showed in another way that the strong modern heritage could be used as trampoline for an inventive mind. More joy for every day life.

      Categories: Art Galleries & Exhibits

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