JOHAN GUDMANN ROHDE (1856 - 1935)

Johan Rohde was a painter, graphic artist, designer and critic. He came from a wealthy family and initially studied painting and drawing. By the late 1880s Rohde was already an important artist whose work had been exhibited in Denmark and Germany. He was active in the movement in Denmark which sought to challenge traditional ways of teaching at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts and was a leader in the creation of the Free Exhibition, an exhibition mounted to show the work of artists whose work was not accepted at the more establishment Charlottenborg Exhibition. Shortly after, Johan Rohde travel a lot and was under the influence of the time artists Cezanne, Van Gogh, Gauguin and Toulouse-Lautrc.

He embraced the movement of that time to apply an artistic sensibility to objects of everyday life and he designed the funiture, silverware and hollowware for his own home.

He first met Georg Jensen when he commissioned Jensen to execute one of his hollowware designs. This collaboration was so successful that the men decided they would continue to work together with Rohde designing and Jensen executing pieces. In fact for the early years of the Georg Jensen silversmithy, there were two designers for the most part, Jensen and Rohde. Their styles were quite different. Jensen designed after the Arts and Crafts style with considerable ornamentation. Rohde's style was more controlled and he downplayed ornamentation in favor of form and line. He designed many hollowware pieces and flatware patterns, the most famous being ACORN.

At least as important, the success of this collaboration encouraged Jensen to bring in other designers who brought fresh ideas and new energy to the company.

From GEORG JENSEN HOLLOWWARE, THE SILVERFUND COLLECTION, David A. Taylor & Jason W. Laskey, 2003

Click HERE to read about Johan Rohde and the Free Exhibition

Click HERE to see items in Acorn, designed by Johan Rohde

Click HERE to see items in Acanthus, designed by Johan Rohde