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Erik Magnussen

1884 - 1961

Erik Magnussen was an apprentice at the art dealers Winkel & Magnussen from 1898-1901. From 1901 he was taught modelling from the Danish-Norwegian sculptor Stephan Sinding (1846-1922) From 1902 he took lessons in chasing from the goldsmith Viggo Hansen. He attended the Kunstgewerbeschule in Berlin from 1907-1909.

Back in Denmark he opened his own workshop in 1909. He was employed by Bing & Groendahl as a designer from 1912-1913, at Ipsens Enke from 1921-1925. In 1925 he went to America and started working for The Gorham Silver Co, in Rhode Island. He was head of the artistic department from 1925-1929. In 1928 he opened his own shop in New York and a workshop in Chicago in 1932, and in Los Angeles from 1933-1938. He returned to Copenhagen and established a workshop in 1939.

His early pieces are inspired both by the Japanese style where nature plays a major role and by the early French Art Nouveau design language. Whilst in America he designed in a more modern style which suited the American buyers, however made it difficult for him to break through once again in Denmark upon his return in 1939.

One of his famous pieces a brooch with a grasshopper clearly inspired by Rene Lalique is in the collection of Design Museum Denmark.

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