Hans Wegner Papa Bear Chair in Black Leather
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Hans J. Wegner by AP Stolen, lounge chair Model AP 19 'Papa Bear', black leather and beech, Denmark, 1951 design, production late 1950s.
This semi-wingback armchair, has an open expression in contrast with its historical ancestors. Wegner made a few considerations about construction and usefulness that have resulted in this elegant shape. For instance, the armrests have been cut lose from the seat, providing the sitter with the ability to move freely. Another interesting detail is are the wooden 'claws' at the end of the arm rests, to hide je joinery in the fabric and prevent the sitter from soiling the fabric with its hands. It was in fact a journalist who dubbed this AP19 the ''Papa Bear', for obvious reasons: it looks like a bear hugging the sitting from behind. Anker Pedersen, who manufactured the chair, like the name so much that it has been called the Papa Bear Chair ever since.
The chair contains partly its original leather. The backrest has been reupholstered to make sure the chair is ready for another decades of use.
Hans Wegner (1914-2007) is one of the most prolific furniture designers of the world. Wegner's furniture was designed with the greatest understanding of materials, construction techniques, and use. Wegner is known to be an excellent cabinet maker with thorough understanding of the materials he worked with, yet his greatest aim was to create expressive and exciting design. Although Wegner was a functionalist, he was not a rational dogmatist such as Kaare Klint, of whom he was a student. Instead, his designs sparkle with inventiveness and sculptural sense. But this never meant that his organic and sensuous forms left the strict rules of functionalism. At heart, Wegner was an idealist. He was relentless in his quest for the best chair: 'there is never one damn thing that cannot be made better'. But Wegner was aware of the fact that you cannot design the 'perfect' chair, which gave him the freedom to produce as much as possible. He left behind more than 3500 drawings and about 500 of his designs went into production. His designs feature in the UN Building and Seagram Building in New York, UNESCO's headquarters. NATO's headquarters in Paris, and several buildings by the architects Skidmore, Owings & Merrill.