Jørgen Gammelgaard

DENMARK (1938–1991)

Jørgen Gammelgaard had a distinguished career as designer, educator and humanitarian. Following in the footsteps of Hans Wegner, he apprenticed in a furniture design workshop and worked for Arne Jacobsen, among others. As a consultant to the United Nations, he was influenced by indigenous designs he came across in his travels to Ceylon, the Sudan and Samoa, designing the celebrated Tip Top Lamp while living in the South Pacific. From 1987 until his death in 1991, he was a professor of furniture design at the Royal Danish Academy of Arts in Copenhagen, a prestigious position previously held by Jacobsen, Kaare Klint and Poul Kjærholm.

Gammelgaard has left a legacy of well-conceived, artful and varied furniture. He designed one of his most popular pieces, the Crest Rail chair – reminiscent of Hans Wegner’s Round Chair (1950) for its similar but more substantial curving top rail – for entrepreneur Børg Schiang in the 1980s; the chair legs, with their unusual triangular footprint, are connected in an X-shaped seat support. The Schiang Collection also included Gammelgaard’s tables, desks, filing cabinets and desktop organizer. Other innovations include his Deck Chair for Rodolfo Dordoni, a sleek lounge resting on a round base, and the Mobile rocking chair for Erik Jørgen, with continuous curving armrests.

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