Verner Panton’s Chairs, Mid Century Furniture and Textile Designs
Verner Panton Chairs and Mid Century Furniture — Verner Panton is considered one of the most influential Danish furniture and interior designers of the 20th century. He transformed the Danish design scene of the 1960’s and 1970’s with his innovative and futuristic designs in a variety of materials.
He especially liked working with plastic. His designs caught the eyes of the public, often causing a sensation, with their attractive and unusual looks as well as the use of vibrant color.
Born to innkeeper parents in Gamtofte on the island of Fünen, Denmark in 1926, Panton set his sight on becoming an artist early in his life. In 1944, he won a place at the Odense Technical College in Odense. At about the same time, he joined the resistance against German occupation. When a cache of weapons was found in his room, he was forced to go into hiding for several months towards the end of the war.
After graduating from Odense, Panton moved to Copenhagen and enrolled at the Royal Academy of Arts to study architecture in 1947. While there, he met Pøul Henningsen, who introduced him to product design. This was the beginning of his life as a world famous designer. Another artist who had a huge influence on him was Arne Jacobsen, architect and furniture designer, for whom he worked between 1950 and 1952.
When Panton graduated as an architect in 1951, Denmark was already at the forefront of the contemporary design scene. Not content to become just a face in the crowd, he embarked on a personal mission to change the future of Danish design. He soon attracted wide attention with his passion for unusual geometric shapes and bright colors. His rejection of convention earned him the title the “enfant terrible” of the Danish design scene.
Panton created many designs that defined the furniture and interior design of the 1960’s and 1970’s. His unconventional chair designs, particularly the stacking chair known as the Panton chair, and interior designs that focused on recreating the entire environment by fusing the various elements of a room with an ensemble of delightfully curved furniture and attractive lighting earned him legendary status and lasting fame.
Some of Panton’s most famous works include the Tivoli chair and bachelor chair (1955), the first inflatable chair (1960), flying chair and shell lamps (1964), S chair (1965), the Living Towers of the Spiegel headquarters (1969), as well as his textile and velvet works, which comprised of graphic geometric shapes in varying hues. Nazmiyal has recently added a great number of these textiles to our collection, including his “Kreis,” “Quadrat,” and “Kurve” designs, among others.
Panton died on September 5, 1998. Although he was eclipsed by younger designers in his later years, he lived long enough to see the resurgence of his designs in popular culture. Today, he is remembered as one of the greatest furniture and interior designers of the 20th century.