Georg Arthur Jensen
31 August 1866
|Died||2 October 1935 (aged 69)|
|Resting place||Hellerup Cemetery|
|Alma mater||Royal Academy of Fine Arts|
Born in 1866, Jensen was the son of a knife grinder in the town of Raadvad just to the north of Copenhagen. Jensen began his training in goldsmithing at the age of 14 in Copenhagen. His apprenticeship with the firm Guldsmed Andersen, ended in 1884, and this freed young Georg to follow his artistic interests.
From childhood, Jensen had longed to be a sculptor and he now pursued this course of study at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts. He graduated in 1892 and began exhibiting his work. Although his clay sculpture was well received, making a living as a fine artist proved difficult and he turned his hand to the applied arts. First as a modeller at the Bing & Grøndahl porcelain factory and, beginning in 1898, with a small pottery workshop he founded in partnership with Christian Petersen. Again the work was well received, but sales were not strong enough to support Jensen, by this point a widower, and his two small sons.
In 1901, he abandoned ceramics and began again as a silversmith and designer with the master, Mogens Ballin. This led Jensen to make a landmark decision, when in 1904, he risked what small capital he had and opened his own little silversmithy at 36 Bredgade in Copenhagen.
Jensen's training in metalsmithing along with his education in the fine arts allowed him to combine the two disciplines and revive the tradition of the artist craftsman. Soon, the beauty and quality of his Art Nouveau creations caught the eye of the public and his success was assured. The Copenhagen quarters were greatly expanded and before the end of the 1920s, Jensen had opened retail in Berlin (1909), London (1921), and New York (1924)..
Jensen made his first piece of jewelry in 1899, a silver and silver and gilt "Adam and Eve" belt buckle.
Museum collections and exhibitions
Georg Jensen brand signs
When he was twenty Georg Jensen signed his first sculpture with "My Father" (1887). In 1894 he used the markings GJ as brandsign and from 1899 he often used GJ. In most cases the year was put next to the brand sign.
Brand signs of Georg Jensen
Brand signs from the designers of Georg Jensen
Family tree Georg Jensen
|Jørgen Jensen 1831-1895||Martha Martine Marie Harding 1831-1903|
|Georg Arthur Jensen 1866-1935||Alexander||Charles Johan||Arild Oscar||Valdemar Louis||Frits||Astrid||Valborg|
|Marie Christiane Antonette Wulff 1864-1897|
|Vidar Wulff Jensen 1891-1987|
|Jørgen Adolf Harding Jensen 1895-1966|
|Magna Maren Petersen 1865-1907|
|Vibeke Jensen 1904-1937|
|Laura Julie Johanne Nielsen 1883-1918|
|Lise Georg Jensen 1912-1994|
|Birgitte Georg Jensen 1914-1998|
|Søren Georg Jensen 1917-1982|
|Magdalene Hanna Agnes Christiansen 1888-1966|
|Mette Georg Jensen 1921-2009|
|Ib Georg Jensen 1927-|
- "Georg Jensen Jewelry Exhibition". bgc.bard.edu. Bard Graduate Center. Retrieved 15 September 2015.
- Esplund, Lance (4 August 2005). "Jewelry's Rhythms". The New York Sun. Retrieved 21 September 2015.
- Moonan, Wendy (22 July 2005). "Celebrating an Artist Who Was Also a Craftsman". New York Times. Retrieved 21 September 2015.
Georg Jensen, Ib (1999 & 2004) ”Der var engang en sølvsmed - Historien om min far Georg Jensen” (Once there were a silversmith – the story of my father). By Ib Georg Jensen, Georg Jensen's youngst son and published in Danish by publishing house Aschehoug, Denmark, in 1999 (1st Edition) ISBN 9788755334410, 227 pages. Also published in Danish by publishing house Forum (Forlaget Forum), Denmark, in 2004 (2nd Edition) ISBN 9788755334410, 227 pages.