The Danish Modern movement brought international acclaim to Denmark in the 1950s and early 1960s, with works by a handful of prominent designers, such as Hans J. Wegner, Finn Juhl and Børge Mogensen. During the 1970s and 1980s, Danish design continued to develop and flourish. The 1990s saw a renewed interest in Scandinavian design, leading to technological advances and furniture with an artistic appeal.
In between Danish Modern and the renaissance of Scandinavian design, Jørgen Gammelgaard started to gain recognition as part of a new era of industrial aesthetics. Involving simplified shapes and production methods, which allowed for independent ideas with more character.
Danish tradition of apprenticeships
Jørgen Gammelgaard belongs to a generation of highly-skilled designers who all learned their craft in the time-honoured Danish tradition of apprenticeships.
Originally trained as a cabinetmaker with the well-known master Copenhagen carpenter AJ Iversen, Jørgen Gammelgaard worked under the wing of Grete Jalk. After studying furniture design under Poul Kjærholm at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, he went on to work at Arne Jacobsen’s studio in the late 1960s.
In 1971, when Børge Mogensen and Fredericia CEO Andreas Graversen received the Danish Furniture Prize for their contribution to the Danish furniture industry, the same award was given to Jørgen Gammelgaard as an upcoming talent who would shape the future of Danish design.
An inspiration to Fredericia's family of designers
At the age of 49, he was appointed Professor of Furniture Design at the Royal Danish Academy's Department of Furniture and Spatial Art, a post he held from 1987 until his death in 1991. There he inspired students with his insights into the Danish design tradition. For example, Johannes Foersom, Peter Hiorth-Lorenzen, Morten Ernst and Anne-Mette Bartholin Jensen are leading Danish designers today who all studied under Jørgen Gammelgaard. And who are all part of Fredericia’s family of designers.