The polished, perforated brass provides an efficient light, well suited for the modern era, but it also possesses suggestive, soft, poetic, and forest-like qualities. It’s really no surprise that he was hired to design the lighting for the General Secretary’s office in the UN building in 1953.
Barbro Nilsson – The Queen of Textiles and Weaving
When founder Märta Måås Fjetterström passed on in 1941, Barbro Nilsson (1899–1983) was chosen to be the artistic leader of the MMF weaving studio. On her appointment in 1942, she was expected to guarantee innovation, in technical and spiritual terms as well as in terms of the variety of patterns. She had already mastered all the techniques of weaving and transferred works by X:et and Endre Nemes to tapestries in her youth. Her round Röda Rabatten(“Red Flowerbed”), which was made using the “flossa” fringing technique, was originally ordered by the biggest name in Swedish fashion at the time: Sven Salén. The carpet was designed to be round so that models could look sharp when they walked on it. It represents an important piece of Swedish textile history. Since 1944, when the carpet was first designed, four of them have been made, and this is one of them. If Märta Måås Fjetterström was the vital connector between Swedish arts and crafts, traditional lifestyles, and modern interior decoration, Barbro Nilsson would go on to be the great genius of colour and patterns, who ensured that the MMF company will remain relevant even in the future.
Finn Juhl – The Character
As a child, Finn Juhl (1912–1989) took an avid interest in art history, and was allowed to borrow books from the library even though he was too young to get a library card. His stern father put an end to those ideas, however, and made sure the boy went on to become an architect. This may not have been Finn Juhl’s dream, but it did lead him to it. When the firm he worked for, Vilhem Lauritzen, won the prestigious contract to design a new building for the Danish Broadcasting Corporation DR, the legendaryRadiohuset, Finn Juhl was free to focus on the internal decoration. Finn Juhl designed furniture based on the human body and its characteristics. His distinctive models set him apart even within the highly individualistic Danish scene, and he thought more like a sculpture a furniture designer. Today, he is an international icon.
The full list of designers included in In the Hands of a Genius:
Carl-Harry Stålhane, Paavo Tynell, Alvar Aalto, Arne Jacobsen, Arne Vodder, Bruno Mathsson, Carl Axel Acking, Ernst Kühn, Erik Chambert, Eszter Imre, Finn Juhl, Poul Dinesen, Gunnar Nylund, Gunnar Wennerberg, Poul Hundevad, Josef Frank, Kaare Klint, Sergio Bustamente, Peder Moos, Børge Mogensen, Mauri Almari, Eva Hild, Eliel Saarinen, Toini Muona, Sandra Davolio, Robert Deblander, Verner Panton, Marcel Breuer, Uno Åhrén/Björn Trädgårdh, Edvard and Tove Kindt-Larsen, Barbro Nilsson.