Above: Chair and foot stool designed by Ejner Larsen and Aksel Bender Madsen and crafted by Ludvig Pontoppidan, 1960. Photo: dmk.dk
When it came to Danish master craftsmen few – if any – were better than Ludvig Pontoppidan. Working with designers that included the ‘stars’ of Danish Modern, such as Nanna Ditzel, Borge Mogensen, Finn Juhl, Ejner Larsen and Aksel Bender Madsen, Pontoppidan created some of the most beautiful pieces of the period. And not only was he a master builder he was also also a gifted designer.
Following in the footsteps of his father Pontoppidan learned his skills in the tradition of the long running Danish cabinetmakers guild where he apprenticed for several years, and while he was quite well known in his native Denmark he was not exactly a household name abroad. However, in 1960, Ludvig Pontoppidan, and several other prominent Danish designers and builders, participated in New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art exhibition entitled The Arts of Denmark, which proved a breakthrough showcase for many Danish designers, including Pontoppidan. The The Arts of Denmark exhibition is often cited as the being pivotal in introducing Danish Modern design to the American market.
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Masterfully executed Pontoppidan’s pieces are beautifully extensions of the designer’s vision – a corporeal testament to quality and refinement so often missing today. It can be said Pontoppidan’s legacy in one of craft and the importance of quality and that a beautifully rendered item poorly made is a disservice to all design.
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