SWEDISH DESIGN. Arthur Hald and Sven Erik Skawonius: CONTEMPORARY SWEDISH DESIGN [A Survey in Pictures]. Stockholm: Nordisk Rotogravyr, 1951.

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Arthur Hald and Sven Erik Skawonius

Arthur Hald and Sven Erik Skawonius: CONTEMPORARY SWEDISH DESIGN [A Survey in Pictures]. Stockholm: Nordisk Rotogravyr,  1951. First English edition—printed in Stockholm by Nordisk Rotogravyr and distributed by Pellegrini & Cudahy. Quarto. Blue cloth boards titled in gilt. Photo illustrated dust jacket. 179 pp. 1,249 objects presented in 111 color plates and 64 black and white illustrations.  Jacket edgeworn with mild chipping to spine heel and crown. Unobtrusive and pretty cool personal ex-libris label to front pastedown. Blue cloth lightly spotted and upper tips both pushed. Interior unmarked and very clean. Out-of-print. A very good copy in a very good dust jacket.

8.75 x 11.25 hardcover book with 179 pages and 1,249 objects presented in 111 color plates and 64 black and white illustrations. Includes an Index of Producers and Designers. More beautiful things for everyday use — this is the motto of those who produce “the things around us” in the four Scandinavian countries: Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden. The home and its furnishings have always held a central position in the lives of the Scandinavian people. A centuries old tradition of fine craftsmanship combined with modern technology is chiefly responsible for the unique Scandinavian style, combining practical utility and beauty of form, qualities that have attracted the attention and won the praise of the whole world.

  • Preface
  • Contemporary Swedish Design. An Introductory Essay
  • Pictures:
  • Leisure Indoors And Out
  • The Table
  • Embroideries, Laces, Homecraft, Objects In Different Materials For Use And Decoration
  • Jewellry And Ornament
  • Loans
  • Index Of Pictures In Introduction
  • Maps And Lists Of Places
  • Index Of Designers
  • Index Of Manufacturers
  • Index Of Manufacturers And Designers According To Materials
  • Museums And Institutions Where Information May Be Obtained
  • Explanation Of Terms

Designers include Carl-Axel Acking, Louise Adelborg, Just Andersen, Elis bergh, Hans Bergström, Monica Bratt-Wijkander, Bertil brisborg, Edgar Böckman, Ewald Dahlskog, Estrid Ericson, Erik Fleming, Josef Frank, Ann-Mari Forsberg, Hugo gehlin, Sven-Arne Gillgren, Elsa Gullberg, Edward Hald, Gocken Jobs, Lisbet Jobs, Ivar Johnsson, Wilhelm Käge, Nils Landberg, Stig Lindberg, Helge Lindgren, Vicke Lindstrand, Barbro Littmarck, Alice Lund, Tyra Lundgren, Ingeborg Lundin, Carl Malmsten, Bruno Mathsson, Alf Munthe, Tom and Grete Möller, Wiwen Nilsson, Gunnar Nylund, Sven Palmqvist, Arthur Percy, Sigurd Persson, Astrid Sampe-Hultberg, Sven Erik Skawonius, Gerda Strömberg, Elias Svedberg, Olga Söderström and Erich and Ingrid Triller among many others.

In 1954 the four Scandinavian countries, Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland arranged what proved to be the most important marketing effort ever for Scandinavian design—the monumental exhibition Design in Scandinavia. From 1954 to 1957 Design in Scandinavia toured the United States and Canada. The exhibition was presented in 27 cities, and it was a huge success, initiated by The Danish Society of Arts and Crafts and its sister organizations in the other participating countries.

Based on the success the four countries established what they called the Scandinavian Design Cavalcade, which had a lot of US press coverage as well. In that connection the July 1959 issue of House Beautiful was centered around The Scandinavian Look in U.S. Homes, and it was Denmark and Danish Design in particular that the magazine focussed on. Besides the editorial pages, the numerous ads illustrates that Danish modern furniture was increasingly gaining a stronghold among certain groups of American consumers.

Importers and retail chains like John Stuart Inc., George Tanier, Raynor and Dunbar etc. now sold Danish modern furniture in the US, and by now it was not only hand crafted furniture from the Copenhagen Cabinetmakers’ Guild Exhibitions but also pieces from industrial furniture producers like Fritz Hansen, Søborg Møbelfabrik, Fredericia Furniture and many others. From the end of the 1950s Danish Department stores and other retailers produced comprehensive brochures and booklets in English with prices in US Dollars presenting Danish Design to American and other tourists.

Without exception, these stores all presented the narrative of Danish modern. “Denmark is known all over the world for its exquisite home furnishing, which are characterized by their outstanding design and superb craftsmanship” the department store Magasin claimed in its brochure “Danish Design.”