Arnold Madsen (1907-1989) is one of the best-kept secrets of the Danish Modern era, despite the fact that some of his furniture pieces today have classic status.
Born in a small town in North Jutland, as a young man he went to sea and worked as a sailor. He then emigrated with his father and three brothers to Canada, where he, among other things, earned his money as a cowboy and rodeo rider.
After returning to Denmark, he settled in Copenhagen and trained as a furniture upholsterer. In 1941, he opened his first workshop and in 1945 he founded Madsen & Schubell together with Henry Schubell, producing furniture between 1945 and 1965. The epitome of Danish Modernism throughout Europe, the company created a string of successful designs until its closure in the mid-1960s.
Arnold Madsen was an atypical representative of Danish modernism. He had neither studied architecture nor was he a trained furniture designer or cabinetmaker. And he did not loudly advertise his furniture. Despite being a man of few words, his drive and determination led him to create some of the era’s most experimental furniture.