In 1948 Museum of Modern Art hosted a design competition for chairs that should be ready for industrial production and retailed at low prices. This was not exactly Finn Juhl’s area of expertise as he had become famous for his incredibly elegant and detailed handcrafted furniture. However, Finn Juhl decided to submit his entry. The reason for this might have been, that Finn Juhl had met Edgar Kaufmann, who was the head of MoMa’s design department. The meeting marked the beginning of a lifelong friendship between the two and Kaufmann was the one who introduced Finn Juhl to the American design scene.
The result for the competition was a beautiful and sculptural armchair in plastic, on which the soft, organic body is seemingly levitating on a base of painted metal legs with wooden toes.
Unfortunately, Finn Juhl did not win the competition – The winner was Charles and Ray Eames’ famous plastic chair, that has since been produced by the millions.
At the Milan fair, The Modern Art Chair was not the only new face in the crowd. It was accompanied by another plastic chair that was designed in 1964, also by Finn Juhl – a small, stackable chair which is large in shape and finished with notches that are typical of Finn Juhl. These details add movement and elegance to the chair. The frame is constructed from slim, painted metal legs that are finished with small wooden toes. The name of the chair is FJ 64 and is, similar to many of his other models, named after the year in which it was designed.