In 1904 the Danish silversmith Georg Jensen founded his first modest silver smithy in the heart of Copenhagen. Thirty years later, he had made an international name for himself. When he died in 1935, the New York Herald Tribune saluted him as "the greatest silversmith of the last 300 years."
Georg Jensen was unique among silversmiths because he was as devoted to art as he was to craftsmanship. He had intimate knowledge of materials and brought this experience to bear on all of his designs.
One of the most important parts of his legacy was that he was not satisfied just to realize his own talent. He went a step further and created a tradition, an inspiring and demanding framework for creative artists and proud craftsmen. Today, Georg Jensen encompasses more than just the man; the name is now a concept synonymous with excellent Danish design throughout the world.
In his early years, Jensen was heavily influenced by Art Nouveau style. He made it his own, though, by combining the sculptor's strong, free lines with the silversmith's intuitive feel for the material. His works are characterized by his fertile, creative imagination, and his capacity to innovate new styles. It has been said of Georg Jensen that "he never followed fashion, he created it."
Following an exhibition at the Danish Museum of Decorative Arts in Autumn of 1904, Georg Jensen designs became fast favourites of Copenhagen's high society. As time went by he surrounded himself with a staff of talented colleagues, laying the foundation for a definite artistic and artisan morale.
Beginning in 1912, Danish expansion of the studio was underway. In 1917, Jensen built workshop large enough to hold hundreds of employees. By the time he had died in 1935, Georg Jensen was an international design house where inspired artisans were encouraged to carry on the tradition of mixing expert craftsmanship with forward-thinking design.
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