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An All New Look for Some of Design’s Most Iconic Chairs

An All New Look for Some of Design’s Most Iconic Chairs

For the 70th anniversary of the iconic chairs in Hans J Wegner’s First Masterpieces collection, the range is getting an exciting new update courtesy of London’s Ilse Crawford.

To celebrate the legacy of Hans J. Wegner and over 70 years of collaboration, Carl Hansen & Son have teamed up with the London-based designer, Ilse Crawford, creating a new colour palette for the iconic chairs in the First Masterpieces collection.

The origin of this collection began in 1949, when Wegner first teamed up with Carl Hansen & Son. A year later, the the CH22, CH23, CH24, CH25 and CH26 chairs were ready, suitably carrying the name of the Masterpiece Collection.

The iconic CH24, or Wishbone chair, is the most famous of the collection, but the entire range embodies the mastery of skill that Wegner possessed over the material of wood. Wegner’s deep understanding of the relationship between form and comfort is present in every item in the range.

After 70 years, its remarkable to notice how well the designs of the iconic chairs in this collection have endured. Modern, contemporary, and imbued with a sense of sincerity for the material, even over seven decades later it’s clear why this collection deserves the mantle of Masterpiece.

To celebrate these iconic designs, the team at Carl Hansen & Son have collaborated with London designer Ilse Crawford, to dress the First Masterpieces in five new earthy shades, offering a new perspective on the iconic collection.

Ilse Crawford is one of the most socially and culturally engaged designers of the modern era, having spent over two decades pioneering humanistic design. Driven by a desire to see objects that suit real life applications, Crawford and her Studioilse design firm specialise in interior projects that place human needs alongside social and environmental necessities. You may know Crawford from her profile appearance in Netflix’s Abstract: The Art of Design, or have seen her name in 2021’s UK New Years Honours list, where she received a Commander of the Order of the British Empire for her services to design.

Crawford’s work on the iconic chairs within the Masterpieces Collection sees design with environmentally conscious principles at the fore. Built with green-friendly components and a water-based colour finish that possesses a slightly transparent finish that allows the natural oak and wood grain of the chair to shine, the revamped collection honours the original pieces that preceded it.

“We wanted to develop a set of colours that reflect the times we live in, and we believe these subdued and muted tones will resonate with a contemporary audience,” says Crawford. “We were inspired by the paintings of the late Danish artist, Per Kirkeby, whose interest in nature and geology was brilliantly manifested in his work. These are not easy, trend-driven or standard decorative colours, but ones that add depth and complexity to any interior.”

The painterly tones of the new First Masterpieces collection take inspiration from the raw beauty of the Nordic landscape, and can work as a group and independently. “Colour is so closely tied to our emotions, to our mood,” notes Crawford, “And we think these subtle tones will contribute to the creation of a warm, relaxed and natural environment.”

Numbers on the new colour update of these iconic chairs is strictly limited, and are available in Cult stores now.


Ilse Crawford

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