Jens Risom 1916 - *

One of the first designers to introduce Scandinavian design to America, Jens Risom trained at Copenhagen’s School of Arts and Crafts studying under Ole Wanscher and Kaare Klint, before attending Niels Brock Copenhagen Business College. After working for Ernst Kuhn as a furniture developer and interior designer, Risom relocated to Stockholm eventually joining the design department of Nordiska Kompaniet.

In 1939, Risom moved to the United States where he secured freelance work with designer Dan Cooper. He designed the furniture for Collier’s House of Ideas - a model house built on a terrace at Rockefeller Center during the 1939 New York World Fair. In 1941, he teamed up with Hans Knoll and the following year they launched the Hans Knoll Furniture Company, creating stools, armchairs and lounge chairs made from cedar and surplus webbing.

Jens Risom Design (JRD) was launched in 1946 and saw Risom moving away from residential furniture and producing office, hospital and library furniture. One of his executive office chairs was chosen by Lyndon Johnson for the Oval Office, ensuring its fame. Risom was knighted by Queen Margrethe of Denmark in 1966 and is a trustee of the Rhode Island School of Design.

Jens Risom

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