Art and design after Bjørn Wiinblad
Wiinblad’s design legacy
With Bjørn Wiinblad’s death, Denmark lost one of its greatest and hardest-working artists. Fortunately, however, he left behind a huge legacy of drawings, posters, theatre projects, ceramics, porcelain, bronzes and books. Not to mention the Blue House in Lyngby, which, from the inside out, is steeped in Wiinblad’s energetic and humorous outlook.
Over a number of years, there have been open house days for the public and, if you’re lucky, you can take a guided tour with Wiinblad’s old chauffeur and faithful helper, René Schultz, who has lived in an annex to the Blue House since the 1970s. René Schultz and his wife Eva curate all the stories about Wiinblad and make sure the old house is kept up to scratch, with a fresh lick of paint, the roof in a good state of repair and carpets replaced as and when necessary.
Visiting Wiinblad’s House in Lyngby is like stepping into an Aladdin’s Cave. There isn’t much Danish minimalism in evidence here, but rather a sea of antique furniture, upholstered sofas, mountains of books and wonderful art. You can tell that the man who lived here loved life and enjoyed sharing his home with friends and family. You feel welcome in the Blue House, and you can’t help but be a little envious of the many people privileged to experience Wiinblad cheerfully hosting one of his tasteful and lively dinner parties.
Thanks to the Rosendahl Design Group, new life has been breathed into Wiinblad’s design universe. Under the name of Bjørn Wiinblad Denmark, Rosendahl has acquired the rights to Bjørn Wiinblad’s products and, over the past year, Rosendahl has brought out a steady stream of bowls, cups, candle holders and trays, all decorated with Wiinblad’s wonderful designs.
When Wiinblad died in 2006, interest in his creations was at a low ebb, but today it is as if we have rediscovered his universe. In 2015, when Arken Art Museum in Ishøj exhibited his ceramics, theatre costumes, posters and giant tapestries, thousands of people came flocking. After a period of feeling overwhelmed by Wiinblad’s prodigious output, we are slowly seeing again how amazing some of his art really is – his pottery with its delicate prints, the smiling girls, the posters that you keep coming back to, and, not least, his candlesticks, glasses and bowls.