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The Remarkable Life of Jens Risom

Dwell Magazine July 2009

The Remarkable Life of Jens RisomThe Remarkable Life of Jens RisomThe Remarkable Life of Jens Risom

The Remarkable Life of Jens Risom

1916
Born May 8 in Copenhagen, Denmark.

1935-1938
Along with School for Arts and Crafts classmates Hans Wegner and Borge Mogensen, studies under Kaare Klint, who also headed up the furniture school at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts.

1937
Works for Danish architect Ernst Kuhn and creates several furniture designs for Gustav Weinreich of A/S Normina in Copenhagen. Also works for a small design firm in Sweden.

1939
Arrives in the United States

1939
Works as a freelance designer for interior designer Dan Cooper, to whom he was introduced through the Museum of Modern Art. He gets his break with Cooper by designing modern textiles.

1940
Designs furniture for the Edward D. Stone-designed Collier's House of Ideas, a model house built on a terrace at Rockefeller Center.

1941
Meets Hans Knoll and travels cross country on a design research trip.

1941
Knoll launches 600 line.

1970
Sells Jens Risom Design Inc.

2003
First Jens Risom collection for Ralph Pucci International, which includes reissues of JRD classics.

2006
Receives commission for stool at Philip Johnson's Glass House.

2007-2008
DWR Design Studio approaches Risom to add to its collection from the original Knoll line. Their collaboration produces three updates of pieces he did for the Caribe Hilton in 1949: the Jens bench, armchair, and ottoman.

Fall 2009
Ralph Pucci is scheduled to release its third Jens Risom line, which will feature the classic U sofa, a coffee table, and a classic executive chair.