KIM NAVER (1940- )

Karen Margrethe Naver (Kim) was born in 1940, and from an early age had an interest in art and design. After completing high school in 1959, she went to Paris where she studied art history for a year at Ecole de Louvre, followed by a year back home at the School for Interior Design, where she decided to work within the realm of textiles. In 1962, she began to learn in one of the finest classic Danish weavers, Lis Ahlmann. Kim quickly showed great talent and debuted at the Charlotte's Spring Exhibition in 1963. 

The same year she married a young actor, Peter Steen, and a year later her first child, Morten was born. Soon after she began apprenticing under Vibeke Klint, and in 1966 she opened her own workshop, where she supplied samples to the textile company, Cotil. She was very successful even early on, and in 1970 won the Lunning prize, a year after the birth of her second child, Rassmussen. In 1975 it was followed by the Sonning Prize, in 1982, the Bindesboll Award, and in 1998, the lifetime grant from the Danish Arts Foundation. Her relationship with her first teach did not end with her new succcesses, and, in fact, kept in touch until her death in 1979, after which, Kim served the board for the Lis Ahlmann scholarship for Danish craftsmen. 

In 1970, however, Kim found herself seeking out new ways to broaden and experiment with her craft, and soon started working with the coarser Polish weaves, which were in vogue at the time, and offered a chance to try new materials and introduce new colors with a freer weaving style. It was during one of these trips to the east where she met her second husband, Mogens Breyen, between 1973-74. This trip also opened her to the possibilities of Eastern weaving techniques, which allowed for greater ornamental weaves using finer fibers, which resulted in an exhibition at the Museum of Decorative Arts a year later and marked as one of the innovators in classic danish textiles. This led to her serving on many boards: from 1977-80 she was a member of the board for the Danish Arts Foundation, from 1979-84 on the Board of Directors for the School of Applied Arts, 1982-84 as chairman of the Crafts Council, 1977-84 as artistic consultant to Haandarbejdets, and since 1992 as a member of the Technical Committee for the Danish Design School and Kolding Design School (now Kolding School of Design). It was during this time she also designed textiles for Royal Copenhagen and silver jewelry for Georg Jensen.

Her works are extensive, and have included the decoration of the Denmark's National Bank in 1978-79 (where her works were commissioned to compliment the architectural design of Arne Jacobsen), and the SAS flight Academy in Stockholm with the help of her students.


Click HERE to read about the Lunning Prize