The story behind
Ole Wanscher (1903-1985) was a Danish furniture architect, professor and author. His furniture and his teaching helped to build the international popularity of Danish furniture design in the post-war period.
He attended Plockross’ School, Hellerup, but did not graduate, was an assistant at the National Museum in 1924 (Vitskøl Kloster) and studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in the 1940s. He was employed by Kaare Klint 1925-27. He had his own drawing studio from 1928 and also worked as a writer.
Wanscher received the Academy’s scholarship in 1929, Hirschsprung’s scholarship in 1936, Knud V. Engelhardt’s scholarship in 1939, scholarships from the New Carlsberg Foundation several times from 1947 and the Carpenters’ Guild’s Annual Prize in 1960.
He was a teacher in furniture drawing at the School of Crafts in Copenhagen 1931-36, technical consultant for the Danish Society for Nature Conservation 1937-44, secretary of the Academic Architects ‘Association’s competition committee 1939-49, member of the Academy of Fine Arts jury 1940-52, chairman of the architectural section 1949, leader of the Danish Architects’ Association’s exhibition committee from 1951. He was professor of furniture and space art at the Academy of Fine Arts 1955-73, member of the Academy Council 1963-68 and of the Academy 1968-78. He was on the board of Hergildt’s scholarship 1968-70 and sat on the board of the Museum of Art and Design in 1972. He was a Knight of Dannebrog.
Wanscher came to Berlin in 1934, the Netherlands, Belgium and France in 1948 and was on several trips in France, England and Italy since 1950 as well as Egypt in 1951.
He exhibited at Charlottenborg Spring Exhibition 1928-29 and 1940, at Copenhagen Carpenters’ Guild’s furniture exhibition 1931-66, the world exhibition in Brussels 1935, Paris 1937, Danish Arts and Crafts, Stockholm 1942, Danish Art Treasures, London 1948, Danish Decorative Art, Liljevalchs, Stockholm 1950, The Triennial in Milan 1957 (silver medal), same in 1960 (gold medal), Amsterdam 1961, Scandinavian Furniture Fair in the Bella Center from 1966 and the Museum of Industrial Art in Copenhagen 1984. His furniture was exhibited posthumously at Design Fair Asahikawa, Japan 1993.