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Georg Jensen

1866 — 1935

Born in 1866, Jensen was the son of a knife grinder in the town of Raadvad just to the north of Copenhagen. Jensen began his training in goldsmithing at the age of 14 in Copenhagen. His apprenticeship with the firm Guldsmed Andersen, ended in 1884, and this freed Georg to follow his artistic interests. In 1884 he became a journeyman and in 1887 he enrolled at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, where he studied sculpture. He graduated in 1892 and began exhibiting his work.

After graduation he started studying ceramics with Joachim Petersen (1870–1943). Although his ceramic sculptures were well received, making a living as a fine artist proved difficult and he turned his hand to the applied arts. He became a modeler at the Bing & Grondah porcelain factory and, beginning in 1898, with a small pottery workshop he founded in partnership with Christian Peterson. The work was well received, but the sales were not strong enough to support Jensen, now a widower, and his two young sons.

Jensen made his first piece of jewelry in 1899, a silver and silver and gilt "Adam and Eve" belt buckle.In 1901, Jensen abandoned ceramics and began again as a silversmith and designer with the master, Mogens Ballin. This led Jensen to make a landmark decision, when in 1904, he risked what small capital he had and opened his own little silversmith store at 36 in Copenhagen. Jensen's training in metals along with his education in the fine arts allowed him to combine the two disciplines and revive the tradition of the artist craftsman. The beauty and quality of his Art Nouveau creations were quickly accepted by the public. The Copenhagen quarters were greatly expanded and before the end of the 1920s, Jensen had opened retail outlets in Berlin (1909), London (1921), and New York City (1924).

Last Updated on: 2024-02-28