OLE BENT PETERSEN (1938-1998 )

Ole Bent Petersen was born in Denmark in 1938, and had finished his training as a goldsmith at at the workshop of P. E. Boesen where he was awarded a bronze medal for his masterpiece. From 1957 to 1959 he studied at the Danish College of Jewelry followed by a year studying silversmithing and design at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts where he received an award from the Council of the Danish Goldsmiths for his work.

In 1960 Ole Bent Petersen set up his own workshop in Copenhagen and since 1978 has worked with the Georg Jensen where in 1981 he created his well-received design series, “Sunshine & Night." The “Sunshine” pendants show realistic scenes of cafés or bedrooms such as a chess table for two in front of a window, a coffee table for two with a palm tree in the background and miniature models of the world-famous Thonet bent wood chairs. All these pieces were executed in brass overlaid with 14-karat-gold or in sterling silver and were sold with the original ribbon in grey or red or as a pendant alone.

One of Ole Bent Petersen's stylistic motifs often included pieces of this nature, turning every day objects from his life into jewelry designs. A brooch might represent bridge he was familiar with, or his bus ticket became a pendant and a coat hanger easily became a ring. Thus he transformed his own life, his impressions, and his surroundings into wearable pieces of art and offered his view of his world to his audience--the wearers and collectors of his work. His works, however were not limited to just these depictions of beauty in everyday things, and he had also produced many pieces of jewelry with organic geometries and worked with stones and enamel as well. Often he was commissioned by companies and institutions wishing for unusual pieces.

In 1979,1980, and 1982 Ole Bent Petersen was a guest lecturer at the Danish Academy for Goldsmiths, and was a jury member at the Council of the Danish Goldsmiths in 1980, the same year he was asked by the Danish State to design the insignia (the bishop's cross) for the bishops’ ordination in Greenland. In 1981, 1982, and 1983 he served as a member of the advisory board for the trimonthly selection of pieces acquired by the Danish Art Foundation from contemporary gold and silversmiths of Denmark. He also has received many awards, including the Danish craftsman’s annual award for 1983, and his list of exhibitions is long. His objects were presented in solo exhibitions at the Court Gallery, Copenhagen, 1978-1980; at Galleri Boje in Aarhus in 1983; and at the Danish Museum of Applied Arts (Det Danske Kunstindustrimuseum) in Copenhagen in 1984.

With much dismay, Ole Bent Petersen died in 1998.