Thursday, February 26, 2009
EARLY DANISH MODERN AND THE ENGLISH INFLUENCE
During the mid-nineteenth century, England experienced exponential growth in industrial production methods influenced by a seemingly endless supply of new inventions, thus leading the period to be referred to as the Industrial Revolution. These new methods of production forever changed the lifestyles of people throughout England and much of Western Europe. Mass factory production was quickly replacing hand-crafted goods, which forced men to give up their family-run shops and move to the cities to earn a living. What had seemed a promising life away from peasantry soon proved to be a hard life of long hours and little pay. In time, a backlash began against this harsh new reality caused by the Industrial Revolution and was lead by architect and designer, William Morris. Morris championed the value of hand-crafted, one-of-a-kind goods and the fulfillment one receives during and after its creation.
Scandinavian countries had been importing English and Napoleonic furnishings up until the early 20th c. Hard economic times and WWI cut these ties and forced Danish designers to fall back on their own know-how and stylistic influences. Influenced by craftsmen like Morris and their own history, Danish designers constructed modern functional furnishings that hailed beauty in construction rather than frivolous ornamental details. They also began to look towards their Viking ancestry for stylistic influence rather that the daintiness of French furnishings. This was the beginning of the simple honest designs that would come to represent the Danish Mid-Century Modern Movement.