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Jens Risom

Danish, American, 1916-2016

The Danish-born Jens Risom brought the Scandinavian modern design sensibility to a wide audience in the United States. As the first designer for Knoll Inc., Risom introduced American buyers to the region’s enduring design values of simplicity, grace and craftsmanship.

Risom trained in furniture making at the Copenhagen School of Industrial Arts and Design under Ole Wanscher, alongside classmates Hans Wegner and Børge Mogensen. In 1939, a year after graduating from business school, Risom decided to move to the U.S. 

While working for an interior designer in New York in 1941, he met Hans Knoll, and the businessman and the designer hit it off. They brought out their first line the next year, despite wartime materials restrictions. The signature piece — now a design icon — was a lounge chair with a striking, undulant birch frame and a seat made of webbed sub-military grade parachute straps. Risom was drafted into the army, and served as a translator under General George Patton. When he returned from the war, Risom clashed over furniture design ideals with his business partner’s new bride, Florence Knoll, the pioneering mid-century modernist who was schooled in the Bauhaus method, which favored furniture with strict, geometric metal frames. Risom then started his own company, Jens Risom Design.

In the course of his long career, Risom developed a stylistic vocabulary that was a reflection of the life of the man himself: his furniture has Danish warmth coupled with an American air of crisp efficiency. Vintage Risom chairs are almost instantly recognizable — the arms and seat backs are set at a distinctive angle that seems to invite people to sit back and relax, yet they know they can hop up in an instant, ready to go.

As you will see on these pages, Jens Risom is one of the great men of American modern design who made furniture that is unique and timeless.

Find a collection of vintage Jens Risom furniture on 1stDibs that includes lounge chairs, desks, coffee tables and more.

Average Sold Price
$3,195
Styles
Materials
Early Jens Risom Compass Chair for His Own Company
By Jens Risom
Located in New York, NY
Rare dining or side chair in birch with compass-shaped legs designed by Jens Risom and produced by his fledgling eponymous company in 1947. Part of an innovative design series previe...
Category

1940s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Jens Risom

Materials

Fabric, Birch

Jens Risom C180 Walnut and Upholstered Armchairs
By Jens Risom
Located in Garnerville, NY
An excellent pair of Jens Risom designed C180 upholstered and walnut armchairs. Also know as 1109 after 1961. Risom was an instrumental part of revolutionizing the look of American l...
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Jens Risom

Materials

Upholstery, Walnut

Jens Risom Mid Century Walnut Bench
By Jens Risom
Located in Countryside, IL
Jens Risom Mid Century Walnut bench This bench measures: 72 wide x 18 deep x 17 inches high All pieces of furniture can be had in what we call restored vintage condition. That ...
Category

1970s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Jens Risom

Materials

Upholstery, Walnut

  • Jens Risom Mid Century Walnut Bench
  • Jens Risom Mid Century Walnut Bench
  • Jens Risom Mid Century Walnut Bench
  • Jens Risom Mid Century Walnut Bench
H 17 in. W 72 in. D 18 in.
8 Foot Walnut Surfboard Dining Table by Jens Risom
By Jens Risom
Located in Las Vegas, NV
Stunning 8 foot mid century walnut surfboard dining table by Jens Risom. The top is beautifully grained walnut and is continuous, meaning there are no leaves, no hassle. It rests upo...
Category

Mid-20th Century Mid-Century Modern Jens Risom

Materials

Walnut

Jens Risom Small One Double Door Compartment Credenza Cabinet Adjustable Shelves
By Knoll, Jens Risom
Located in Rockaway, NJ
Mid-Century Modern oiled walnut double door credenza by Jens Risom.
Category

20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Jens Risom

Materials

Walnut

Jens Risom Model 6500 Magazine Table
By Fredericia, Jens Risom
Located in Berkeley, CA
Jens Risom Model 6500 magazine table is designed in 1949, the magazine table reflects Risom’s idea that key to good design is comfort, the warmth of wood with a graceful style. Avail...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary American Mid-Century Modern Jens Risom

Materials

Oak

  • Jens Risom Model 6500 Magazine Table
  • Jens Risom Model 6500 Magazine Table
  • Jens Risom Model 6500 Magazine Table
  • Jens Risom Model 6500 Magazine Table
H 22.64 in. W 18.5 in. D 15.94 in.
Signed Jens Risom T710 Side Table in Walnut and Steel circa 1950s
By Jens Risom
Located in Peabody, MA
A Model T710 side table in walnut and steel by Jens Risom, circa 1950s. Retains its original label.
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Jens Risom

Materials

Steel

Danish Modern Jens Risom Walnut Nightstands
By Jens Risom
Located in Minneapolis, MN
Hard to find night stands designed by Jens Risom. Solid walnut sculpted frames with leather wrapped shelves. Single drawers and nice surface space on top.
Category

Mid-20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Jens Risom

Materials

Leather, Walnut

Browse all Furniture from Jens Risom
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Jens Risom Sellers

Modern Hill Inc.
4.7
Metro Retro Furniture MCM Furniture
4.6
Liberty & 33rd
4.9
Horseman Antiques Inc.
4.9
Interior Motives LLC
5.0
Modern Redemption
5.0
Open Air Modern
4.6
More Jens Risom Designs
Risom Lounge Chair
Risom Lounge Chair
Average Price
$4,544
Number Available
21
Risom Lounge Chair
By Jens Risom
Materials
Wood, Fabric, Walnut
Styles
Mid Century Modern
Debuting in 1943, the Risom lounge chair was among the first pieces of furniture commissioned and produced by legendary manufacturer Knoll. It was the work of Jens Risom (1916–2016), who had only just moved from his native Denmark to the United States in 1939.Risom was by then a graduate of business school and had studied under Danish architect and designer Kaare Klint at Copenhagen's School of Industrial Arts and Design (Hans Wegner, whose many iconic creations include the Wishbone chair, wa...
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Jens Risom furniture for sale on 1stDibs

Jens Risom furniture is available for sale on 1stDibs. These distinctive objects are often made of wood and designed with extraordinary care. There are many options in our Jens Risom collection of furniture, although brown editions of this piece are particularly popular. There are 227 vintage versions of these items in stock, while there are 8 modern editions to choose from as well. Many of Jens Risom's original furniture was created in Mid-Century Modern style in North America during the 20th century. Many customers also consider furniture by Florence Knoll, Harvey Probber and Eero Saarinen if you’re looking for additional options. The prices for Jens Risom furniture can vary depending on size, time period and other attributes. 1stDibs's price starts at $250 and tops out at $36,000, while pieces like these can sell for $3,433.
Questions About Jens Risom
  • 1stDibs ExpertMarch 22, 2022
    Jens Risom was a Danish designer. Many people credit him with bringing the modern style of Scandinavian design to the U.S. He is well-known for his chairs, which feature angled seat backs often upholstered with webbing. On 1stDibs, find a selection of Jens Risom furniture.
  • 1stDibs ExpertMarch 22, 2022
    Yes, Jens Risom was Danish. He was born in Copenhagen, Denmark, on May 8, 1916, and attended Copenhagen School of Industrial Arts and Design. Following his graduation, Risom moved to the U.S., where he lived for the rest of his life. On 1stDibs, find a collection of Jens Risom furniture.
  • 1stDibs ExpertMarch 22, 2022
    Normally, vintage furniture dealers or auction and online platforms specializing in authentic vintage furniture sell Jens Risom rockers. From time to time, rocking chairs produced by the Danish designer may appear at thrift shops and secondhand stores or be available directly from individuals who own them. On 1stDibs, find a selection of Jens Risom chairs.

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