GEORG JENSEN SOCIETY

Georg Jensen's life as a silversmith and sculptor.


August 31, 1866: Georg Arthur Jensen was born as the youngest of 8 children in Raadvad, 20 kilometers north of Copenhagen, Denmark. His father was brazier Jørgen Jensen (1831-1895) and his mother Martha Marie Jensen, born Harding (1831-1903).

October 1866: He was baptized.

1879: Georg Jensen stopped school and started working for the local knife factory in Raadvad.

1880: The family moved to Copenhagen. Georg Jensen started in an apprenticeship as goldsmith, graduating as skilled goldsmith in 1884. He received additional artistic education in sundayschool ("De Massmannske Søndagsskoler").

1885: Georg Jensen attended classes in drawing at the Technical Society's School in Copenhagen.

1887: Georg Jensen was admitted to the Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen.

1889: His exhibits for the first time at Charlottenborg, Copenhagen with a bust of his father.

1892: He passes his final examination as sculptor at the Acadamy for Fine Arts with praising references. He exhibits his bust "The Harvester" at Charlottenborg.

1893: Georg Jensen receives several bursaries, which enables him to work as a sculptor for the years to follow. He makes his first trip to Berlin (with many to come).

1897: His large sculpture "The Spring" is exhibited at "Den Frie Udstilling" in Copenhagen.

1898: Starts working with pottery with his friend Joachim Petersen. Several exhibits. Works at Bing & Grøndahl.

1900: Exhibits pottery at The World Fair in Paris, honored with "Mention Honorables". Long journeys to Paris, Firenze and Rome.

1901: Working as a foreman at a factory during the daytime. During evenings and weekends he is doing pottery, and also begins to make silver ornaments.

1902: Exhibits his silver art at "Kleis" in Copenhagen, receiving attention for his new and unique style.

April 19, 1904: Georg Jensen established his own silver smithy in Bredgade 36, Copenhagen. Everything he exhibits at the Museum for Applied Arts in Copenhagen in October-November is sold and the press writes very positively about him.

1905: Karl-Ernst Osthaus from Germany and Van de Velde from Belgium visit Georg Jensens Silver Smithy in Copehagen. Several exhibits are arranged in Germany.

1906: Georg Jensen is now famous for the unique quality of the workmanship at his silver smithy.

1907-8: Numerous exhibits, receiving much attention.

1909: The first Georg Jensen shop opens in Berlin. Exhibits for the first time at "Salon d'automne" and "Art décoratif" in Paris, which turns out to be a yearly tradition.

1912: The silver smithy moves to larger premesis in Knippelsbrogade. The first Georg Jensen shop in Copenhagen opens (Bredgade 21).

1913: In Gent he receives "Diplome d'honneur". Danish artist Johan Rohde is employed at Georg Jensen's Silver Smithy.

1914: The First World War begins and makes things difficult for the silver smithy and Georg Jensen's shop in Berlin.

1915: At the World Fair in San Francisco Georg Jensen is honored with Grand Prix. William Hearst buys everything exhibited. The shop in Berlin closes.

1916: Sweden is now the largest costumer at the Silver smithy, thanks to Nils Wendel (Stockholm). Georg Jensen Silversmithy Incorporated is established.

1917: Sales are increasing rapidly.

1918: The Silver smithy is moved to larger premises in Ragnagade 7, Copenhagen. Shops are opened in Stockholm and Paris. The sals company Georg Jensen & Wendel Incorporated is formed.

1919: The bank which is used by he silver smithy and Georg Jensen goes bankrupt. New investments are nessesary.

1920: Georg Jensen is honored as "Associé de la Société Nationale des Beaux Arts" in Paris.

1921: Another bank - Landmandsbanken - goes bankrupt, and Georg Jensen looses everything he owns. A Georg Jensen shop is opened in London.

1923: Georg Jensen is honored with Grand Prix at exhibitions in Barcelona, Bruxelles and Rio de Janeiro.

1924: Frederik Lunning opens the Georg Jensen shop in New York. Because of the economic problems the past 5 years, Georg Jensen is no longer managing director of Georg Jensen's Silver smithy. He moves to Paris to start his own silver smithy.

1925: Georg Jensen Silver gets Grand Prix at the World Fair in Paris. Georg Jensen and P. A. Pedersen (director of Georg Jensen's Silversmith) breaks their collaboration.

1926: Some of Georg Jensens most praised and inspired works are created in Paris. On his birthday he is celebrated as the greatest silversmith of the century. The shop in Berlin reopens. Engineer P. A. Pedersen, who is managing director of  Georg Jensen's Silver smithy, offers Georg Jensen the job as artistic leader of the Silver smithy, and the collaboration is reestablished. Georg Jensen moves to Copenhagen.

1932: After years of disputes with P. A. Pedersen, Georg Jensen concentrates on the things he creates at home.

1935: October 2 Georg Jensen dies suddenly.