Denmark, 1894 - 1967
"All political art is bad – all good art is political." - Poul Henningsen
Poul Henningsen was a Danish author, architect and critic, was one of the leading figures of the cultural life of Denmark between the World Wars. In Denmark, he is often referred to as PH. Poul Henningsen was the illegitimate son of author Agnes Henningsen and satirist Carl Ewald. He spent a happy childhood in a tolerant and modern home in Ordrup which was often visited by the leading literates. Between 1911 and 1917 he was educated as an architect, but he never graduated and tried himself as an inventor and painter.
His most valuable contribution to design was in the field of lighting. He designed the PH-lamp in 1925, which, like his later designs, used carefully analyzed reflecting and baffling of the light rays from the bulb to achieve glare-free and uniform illumination. His light fixtures were manufactured by Louis Poulsen. His best-known models are the PH Artichoke and PH5. The lamps created the economic foundation of his later work.
Other notable designs include the PH Grand Piano which is included in several notable 20th-century design collections, including that of the Metropolitan Museum in New York City. He also designed Glassalen for Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen.