Contrary to its moniker, you do not need to be a fairy princess or professional ornithologist to appreciate the elegance of the Swan Chair. However, in his original design it is easy to recognize that Arne Jacobsen envisaged the experience of riding snugly on the back of the majestic swan. Standing approximately 2.5 feet from floor to tip, this petite chair packs an unexpected wallop: a contradiction of thickly padded, body-hugging contours against roomy comfort. The basic outlier here is that this chair, with streaming armrests cut away from the back rest, creates not only a well-proportioned masterpiece, but also a dynamic visual flow. As a matter of fact you may be more inclined to compare it to a stunning representation of a rare orchid. Yet underneath the flowing beauty, is a strong fiberglass frame mounted on sturdy metal legs. With a multitude of choice for upholstery colors, the Swan Chair will also fit into any décor with grace and ease. The Swan Chair is a noted icon of 1950’s modernism and is highly regarded for its sculptural qualities. The Swan Chair’s graceful curves and organic nature contribute to the chair’s mastery of fluidity. As graceful as its name, the Swan Chair breathes harmony to its surrounding interior design. The central use of space in the Swan’s sculptural design allows the eye to move rhythmically throughout the interior design and the embracing nature of the sculpture provides a luxurious natural comfort. This quality modern classic reproduction comes in many different colors. Although Arne Jacobsen was a well-known architect in Denmark, he is primarily celebrated for being the father of “Danish Modern” furniture, and, ultimately his swan chair was the piece that secured his journey into the world of furniture. He was led into this field of endeavor through his interest in Gesamtkunst (“Total artwork is a work of art that makes use of all or many art forms art or strives to do so. The term is a German word which has come to be accepted in English as a term in aesthetics.” Wikipedia) As a result he saw himself quite nearly as a Renaissance man, capable of creating art from the large scale of a building to the smaller scale of a chair. His Danish Modern design motif was characterized by its simplicity of form, its use of natural wood colors, favoring the lighter varieties and metal legs. The Jacobsen swan chair was a graceful departure from this standard. To describe it is shortchanging the form and to say it resembles flower petals more than it does a swan, is also lacking in narrative. However, strictly speaking the swan chair could be broken down as a seat piece that curves convexly up on the sides as arms. The arms themselves are curved, from front to back, in an organic shape. The back begins as a narrow extension of the seat and gradually gains width as it bends upward then back. The chair is supported by a low metal pedestal with four stabilizing arms. The swan chair Jacobsen designed was originally covered in a textured weave fabric, russet in color. Cheerful in its optimistic shape and tone, facsimiles more than likely graced many residences after the original had been presented to the Radisson SAS hotel in Copenhagen, along with its notorious cousin the “Egg Chair”. Looking back, it seems ludicrous that chairs of such distinction were actually named as such. It almost diminishes the singular contributions they made to furniture design. Today the Jacobsen swan chair is still sold today in many variations, color, and metal type. It has a way of fitting into any setting as an unassuming yet charming fellow piece to other representatives of the modern style. It is interesting to learn that Jacobsen eschewed the word “designer” and was known for his intense disdain of the word. Yet, he’s stuck with the term as he was a designer, par excellance, and demonstrated his acumen. As the master craftsman of the beautiful swan chair Jacobsen was royally welcomed into the field of interior design. Known for his attention to it, his remark in an interview recorded his belief that, “The proportion is exactly what makes the beautiful ancient Egyptian temples […] and if we look at some of the most admired buildings of the Renaissance and Baroque, we notice that they were all well-proportioned. Here is the basic thing”.
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