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With an eye for organic aesthetics and clean lines, Hovmand-Olsens’ pieces, mainly inspired by Scandinavian design, are a vivid example of what mid-century modern design is.
Born to a farming family in Kirkeby Sogn, Denmark, Arne Hovmand-Olsen discovered at a young age that he did not want to continue in the family farming business. As a child he demonstrated talent in drawing and creativity. In 1938 he began as an apprentice with cabinetmaker, Peder Olsen Sibast. After three years of training, he decided it was time for him to craft his own creations and in 1941 he joined a technical school in Åarhus, an institution dedicated to furniture design. Once he finished his studies, he was ready to open his own studio and began creating furniture inspired by modern Scandinavian design.
Like many mid-20th century furniture designers, Hovmand-Olsen crafted his designs with beautiful, high-quality woods like rosewood and teak. A few of his distinct characteristics include the illusion of a floating body and the arched, tapered legs in the designs of chairs, chests, and tables. His designs were met with great success in Denmark and quickly gained popularity abroad in the United States when they were exported. He had the opportunity to design furniture and work for companies like A. R. Klingenberg & Søn, Bramin, J.L. Møller, Alf Juul Rasmussen, Mogens Kold Møbelfabrik and Skovmand & Andersen, to name a few. Arne Hovmand-Olsen closed his studio in the 1970s due to illness. Nonetheless, his Danish furniture designs remain collectible and highly sought after.