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Born in 1866, Georg Jensen’s childhood was spent in the small country village of Radvaad, Denmark—an idyllic landscape that was reflected in his work throughout his career. At fourteen, he was apprenticed to a silversmith in Copenhagen, and in 1887, he was admitted to the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts where he studied sculpture.
Upon graduation in 1892, Jensen made and exhibited his sculpture while supporting himself as a ceramics modeler; first at the Bing & Grandahl porcelain factory and then in an independent partnership with Christian Joachim. He won recognition and a travel grant to Paris, Rome, and Florence before returning to the silversmithing trade. By 1904, he opened his first shop on a fashionable street in Copenhagen.
Though his style was thoroughly unique, Jensen’s interest in nature and natural forms was in keeping with Art Nouveau principles current in Paris and elsewhere at the turn of the century. He drew inspiration from fruits, leaves, and flowers, translating them into silver ornaments. Like other modern artists and craftsmen, he preserved the evidence of process that went into the making of a work, often enriching the surface of his silverwares with visible hammer marks. And, while he was a genius of silver design in his own right, Jensen promoted the work of his collaborators and his success grew internationally.
He opened shops in Berlin (1909), Stockholm and Paris (1918), London (1921), and New York (1924), and won prizes at international exhibitions in San Francisco (1915), Barcelona (1923), and Paris (1925). After 1924, Jensen’s involvement with the firm was limited, although he remained its artistic director until his death in 1935.