I discovered Danish designer Bjorn Wiinblad in college and was immediately drawn to his figures and porcelain objects. He was born in Copenhagen in 1918 and graduated from the Royal Academy of Arts in Copenhagen. I started collecting his Rosenthal Studio Line pieces shortly thereafter and then his noire series. He was an incredibly versatile artist, beginning his career as a painter and illustrator but expanding into glass, poster design, set design, textiles and even furniture design. Here, I’ve focused on the extraordinary porcelain pieces that he created for Rosenthal’s Studio Line and the dinnerware they still produce today.
Philipp Rosenthal started his porcelain company at Schloss Erkersreuth Castle in Selb, Germany in 1879. After his death in 1937, his son Philip succeeded him and in the next 20 years would turn Rosenthal into an almost unchallenged force in the design world for ceramics. Many other designers collaborated on Rosenthal series in the 1960’s and early 1970’s including Raymond Loewy, Timo Sarpaneva and Tapio Wirkkala. In later years, they continued to collaborate with artists and designers Andy Warhol, Jasper Morrison and Karl Lagerfeld to name a few. The company celebrated its 125 years anniversary in 2004.
The figures that Wiinblad created and the imagery in his work are immediately recognizable. His work is popular the world over and especially admired in Japan.
He was named Man of the Year in New York in 1985 and awarded the Cultural Prize of 1995 by the Scandinavian-American Foundation.
Bjørn Wiinblad (1918-2006)
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