Hans Wegner attended the School of Arts and Crafts in Copenhagen at the age of 22 and worked as an assistant to Erik Møller and Arne Jacobsen before opening his own office in 1943.
The real beauty of Wegner's genius must be seen in context with his collaboration with master cabinetmaker Johannes Hansen. The attitude with which Hansen accepted the young designer's ideas was the perfect combination between designer and craftsman. Their collaboration went on for many years, and they presented their work at the Cabinetmaker's show every year from 1941-1966.
With his love of natural materials and his deep understanding of the need for furniture to be functional as well as beautiful, Wegner made mid-century Danish design popular on an international scale. With more than 500 different chair designs Wegner is the most prolific Danish designer to date. His international breakthrough and greatest sales success came in 1949 when he designed the Round chair. The American magazine Interiors featured the chair on the cover and referred to it as "the world's most beautiful chair". The chair rose to stardom when used in the televised presidential debates between Nixon and Kennedy in 1960 and has since been known simply as "The Chair".
Other well-known Wegner designs are The Peacock chair, designed in 1947, (given its nickname by Finn Juhl). the Shell chair (1948), the Y-Chair (1949), the Cow Horn chair (1952), the Bear chair (1954) and in 1960 Wegner came out with several variations on the Ox chair which came with or without horns and showed a playful side of his designs. "We must take care," he said, "that everything doesn't get so dreadfully serious. We must play, but we must play seriously."
Wegner's design went on to win worldwide recognition through the 1950's and 1960's and his furniture, in particular his chairs, are to be found in the permanent collections of the world's most prestigious museums.