In 1982 Danish furniture manufacturer Fritz Hansen acquired the rights to the complete works by the designer Poul Kjærholm.
In 2003 Fritz Hansen ceded their rights to selected objects, mainly tables.
In January 2014 Fritz Hansen reacquired said rights from Poul Kjærholm’s son Thomas Kjærholm who had not only administered the rights in the intervening decade, but had also established a company who produced and distributed the “discarded” objects.
Although the decision to reacquire the complete Poul Kjærholm collection has a fairly obvious commercial background – in Fritz Hansen’s statement announcing the purchase they note the “increased interest internationally in Danish design in general and in Poul Kjærholm in particular.” – the decision is, without question, “artistically” correct. Sensible even.
It simply makes little sense having objects from a designer such as Poul Kjærholm in production with different manufacturers, something that becomes patently clear when one sees and understands the formal similarities between, for example, the PK65 table from 1979 that belongs to the reacquired collection and the 1957 PK 80 daybed which has been part of the Fritz Hansen portfolio since 1982. Such objects may be from different periods and have arisen in different contexts but they embody the same beliefs, the same ardour, compliment and contradict one another and so shine more in one another’s company.
Despite his importance to the story of the development of design in Denmark, and indeed Europe, Poul Kjærholm never actually released that many objects yet those that he did release embody such a seductive, unflinching minimalism and demonstrate such an intelligent, competent use of materials that they remain as contemporary today as they did then. That they are now, once again, available from one source is very welcome news.