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CARL BERGSTEN (Swedish, 1879-1935)

Desk and Chair, Sweden, ca. 1925

Mahogany, elm, inlaid pewter

Desk: 27.5" H x 65" W x 31" D 

Chair: 34" H, 23.75" W x 20"D; Seat: 18.5" H, Arm: 26.5" H

Carl Bergsten (Swedish, 1879 - 1935) was an architect of the early 20th century, known as a founder of the Swedish Grace Movement, coinciding with Art Deco aesthetics. Bergsten graduated from the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm in 1901 and from the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in 1903. Before opening his own studio in 1904, Bergsten traveled extensively and studied with the Viennese Secessionists; the influence of their proto-modernist designs is apparent in Bergsten’s early works.

Bergsten was the head of Nordiska Kompaniet’s furniture department from 1917 to 1925 while also working extensively with the Swedish government regarding the design and construction of state buildings. Bergsten’s talents were varied; best known for his architecture, he also created entire interiors and furniture. He designed curtains and other textiles, as well as jewelry for his wife and even her wedding dress. 

Bergsten’s most famous designs were the Swedish Pavilion at the seminal 1925 Exposition International des Arts Decoratifs et Industriels Modernes in Paris, the interior of the ocean liner M/S Kungsholm, and the Liljevalchs Gallery in Stockholm, which when completed in 1917 was one of the first and still finest examples of early modernist architecture in Sweden.

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