Designers were encouraged to find inspiration in Swedish fashions of the 18th century. A breakthrough for this eclectic style occurred during the Jubilée Exhibition in Gothenburg in 1923 and the Paris World Fair in 1925. The term Swedish Grace was first used by British art critic Morton Shand in an article in Architectural Review in 1931. The most innovative furniture of the period was characterized by taut, balanced and more gracious forms manufactured in exotic wood with soft, pale colors contrasted by bolder reds, greens and blacks. Until the 1980's the style was considered to be a temporary period between national romanticism and functionalism. There are many celebrated makers of this period, such as furniture designers: Carl Malmsten, Yngve Ekström, and Axel Einar Hjorth; textile designers: Märta-Måås-Fjetterström, Märta Afzelius and Elsa Gullberg, who was also an interior designer; glass blowers; Simon Gate and Edward Hald.

Barnebys selects...

Today one of the most sought after furniture designers is the Axel Einar Hjorth, chief architect at Nordiska Kompaniet's decor department between 1927-38. With a spot-on feeling for form, function and quality he conquered the most exclusive decors of the 1920's with unique furniture and furniture series. His break-through was NK's opulent showcase at the World Fair in Barcelona in 1929. Hjorth is today counted as one of the world's premier furniture designers, this is a quite recent turn of events. During Functionalism the design community was skeptical to his expensive constructions and choice of material. It is thanks to the high prices at auction during the first years of the 21st century that has garnered interest for the designer. Today Axel Einar Hjorth is among the most sought after at the modern auctions. Trending at the latest auctions are deal furniture series "Utö" and "Lovö" created for Swedish vacation homes.

See more Axel Einar Hjorth on Barnebys here.

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