Finn Juhl (Danish, 1912–1989) was a pioneer of Modern design in Denmark, and the first 20th-century Danish furniture designer to achieve international recognition. Born in Copenhagen, Juhl studied architecture at the Royal Academy of Arts. He spent the next decade working at the firm of Vilhelm Lauritzen. By the late 1930s, he had begun exhibiting at the annual Copenhagen Cabinetmakers’ Guild. 

In 1945, he opened his own design office, where he specialized in furniture and interior design. Over the next several years, his work became increasingly influential, particularly on the style of homes abroad. In addition, he lectured on interior design at the Fredericksberg Technical School. 

Influenced by Surrealist artists Jean Arp and Joan Miró, Juhl created furniture with soft edges and organic shapes, and became known for his chairs that used "floating" seat surfaces. In the early 1950s, he designed an interior for the Good Design exhibition in Chicago. He was also commissioned to create a series for Baker Furniture, and produced for them chairs, tables, storage units, sideboards, and desks. He also designed the Trusteeship Council Chamber at the United Nations in New York. During this time, Juhl was the recipient of five Gold Medals at the Milan Triennial. 

In 1960, Juhl arranged the exhibition The Arts of Denmark at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, which helped introduce the concept of Danish design in United States. Also in 1960, the Danish Embassy in Washington, D.C., was built and decorated almost exclusively with Juhl’s furniture. In 1965, he served as a visiting professor at the Art Institute of Chicago. 

In 1982, in celebration of his 70th birthday, Juhl held a retrospective exhibition of his work at the Danish Museum of Art & Design. He died seven years later in Ordrup, Denmark.

Finn Juhl - Curriculum vitae

Born on January 30, 1912 in Copenhagen, Denmark.
1930 Graduated from Sct. Jørgens Gymnasium
1930-1934 Studied at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, School of Architecture
1934-1945 Employed by the architect Vilhelm Lauritzen
1937 Debut at the Cabinetmakers´ Guild exhibitions
1937-1959 Furniture models for cabinetmaker Niels Vodder
1937 Married Inge-Marie Skaarups on July 15, (later divorced)

1942 Membership in the Academic Architects Association (now the Federation of Danish Architects)
1942 Built his house on Kratvænget, north of Copenhagen
1943 C. F. Hansen prize for young architects
1945 Independent design office in Nyhavn, Copenhagen opened
1945-1955 Senior teacher at the School of Interior design
1946 Designed Bing & Grøndahl store on Amagertorv Square, Copenhagen
1947 Eckersberg Medal
1948 Svend Schaumann´s flourist´s shop, Kongens Nytorv
1950 Contemporary Danish Architecture exhibition, London
1950 Danish Handcraft Guild exhibition, London
1950 Mrs. Anthon Petersen´s summer house in Asserbo, Denmark
1951 Good Design exhibition, Chicago
1951-1952 Designed the Trusteeship Council Chamber, U.N. Headquarters, New York
1951-1955 Furniture collection for Baker Furniture, Inc., Grand Rapids, Michigan
1952 Angewandte Kunst aus Dänemark exhibition, Zurich, Switzerland
1952 Redesign of the Georg Jensen store on Fifth Avenue, New York
1952 Single-family house for M. Aubertin, Nakskov , Denmark
1952 Designed a room with his own furniture, etc. at the Nordenfjeldske Museum of Applied Art, Trondheim, Norway
1953-1969 Furniture collection for France & Daverkosen, Ørholm, and France & Søn, Hillerød, Denmark
1954 Home of the Future exhibition at the Cabinetmakers´Guild 400th anniversary exhibition at Forum, Copenhagen
1954 Georg Jensen silversmithy, 50th anniversary exhibition, Museum of Decorative Art, Copenhagen
1954 Fifty Years of Danish Silver exhibition, London, Washington, Louisville, and  Dallas (1955) and St. Louis (1957)
1954 Designed Denmark´s stand at the Xth Triennial in Milan, Awarded honorary diploma
1955 Villabyerne’s cinema, Vangede, Denmark
1955 Awarded a diploma by Gentofte Municipality
1955 Director´s office for France & Daverkosen, Ørholm, Denmark
1955 Model apartment at the H55 exhibition in Helsingborg, Sweden
1956-1961 Designed SAS´s ticket offices in Europe and Asia
1956-1957 Neue Form aus Dänemark traveling exhibition in eight German cities and Vienna
1956 Designed the Georg Jensen, Toronto, Canada
Designed interior of DC-8 planes for SAS
1957 Design office moved to 38 Sølvgade, Copenhagen
1957 Redesigned the Georg Jensen store on New Bond Street, London
1957 Denmark´s stand at the XIth. Triennial in Milan. Awarded a gold medal
1960 Furnished the ambassador´s residence at the Royal Danish Embassy, Washington D.C.
1960-1961 The Arts of Denmark exhibition, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
1960 Trophy for The Kaufmann International Design Award
1961 Began a common-law marriage with Hanne Wilhelm Hansen
1962 Summer-house for Anders Hostrup-Pedersen, Raageleje, Denmark
1963 Expansion of Bing & Grøndahl store, Copenhagen
1964 A.I.D. prize for design, Chicago
1965 Visiting professor, Institute of Design, Chicago
1965 Designed the Hotel Richmond restautant
1966 Redesigned Wilhelm Hansen’s Musikforlag on Gothersgade, Copenhagen
1968 Two Centuries of Danish Design exhibition, Victoria & Albert Museum, London
1968 A Century of Danish Design exhibition, Kelvingrove Museum, Glasgow, and Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester
1969 Exhibition of arts and crafts, Brussels
1970 Retrospective exhibition of Finn Juhl’s own work, Charlottenborg Autumn Exhibition, Denmark
1971 Received a life-long pension from the State Budget
1973 Exhibition of his own work, Cantu, Italy
1978 Made an Honorary Royal Designer for Industry, London
1982 Retrospective exhibition of furniture and other work, Museum af Decorative Art, Copenhagen
1984 Knight of the Order of the Dannebrog

Finn Juhl died May 17, 1989.