The Fruit Bowl is a result of a rare occasion; Wegner using the wood turning technique to create a stand-alone object. In this instance he did not allow himself to be concerned about practical issues, but made a truly extravagant design showing with great elegance what such an expressive carving of solid wood can offer.
Wegner presented the Fruit Bowl at the annual Cabinetmakersâ€™ Guildâ€™s Autumn Exhibition, where a journalist questioning the reason for this excessive extravagance confronted him. "Well, sometimes you would like to just let it all go!" Wegner replied.
Still the Fruit Bowl seems obvious in all its beauty and as usual with Wegner, all shapes, angles and proportions somehow could not have been made differently.
The Fruit Bowl is unique in Wegner's work and has no predecessor or alternative versions. It is a one off piece of art that states the high point of the golden era of Danish Modern in the 1950's.
Son of a shoe-maker in southern Jutland, Hans Wegner, finished his formal training as a cabinetmaker with master cabinetmaker Stahlberg in 1930 before starting at Teknologisk Institut in Copenhagen. He soon moved to the School of Arts and Crafts in the Danish capital where he became architect in 1938, and started teaching in 1946.
In 1940 he joined Arne Jacobsen and Erik Møller in Arhus, to design the furniture for the new Arhus city hall. He started to work with 'minister' cabinetmaker Johannes Hansen in 1940 and showed his first furniture in the famous Hansen store on Bredgade 65 in 1941. Johannes Hansen was more than twice as old as the 26 year old Wegner but the unique collaboration between the two became the undisputed backbone of Danish furniture design and the main reason for it's world wide recognition in the fifties and sixties. The Copenhagen Museum of Art and Industry acquired the first Wegner chair in 1942.
In 1943 he started his own design office and 1 year later designed the first of a long series of 'chinese' chairs inspired by portraits of Danish merchants sitting in Ming chairs for Fritz Hansen. In 1950 Wegner designed the “Wishbone Chair” produced by Carl Hansen & Søn in Odense which became the most successful of all Wegner chairs. Most well known for it’s use by Kennedy and Nixon in their famous CBS TV debate of 1960.