GUSTAV AXEL BERG (Swedish, 1891-1971)
Armchair, Sweden, ca. 1950
Beech, newly upholstered in European shearling
30" H x 30.5" W x 30" D; 17.25" H (seat); 26" H (arm)
Gustav Axel Berg was a Swedish designer and major proponent of Swedish Modern design. Berg began as an engineer, working on projects in the United Kingdom, United States, Brazil, Finland, and China before eventually settling back in Sweden as the Technical Secretary for the Swedish Chamber of Commerce. In 1933 he opened his own furniture shop, experimenting with comfortable seating that adapts to the body’s anatomy.
Berg was commissioned to create the Awards room, as well as one of the five interiors at the Swedish pavilion at the 1939 World Exhibition in New York. His work was shown alongside pieces by Josef Frank and Carl Malmsten, and the exhibition is credited as the birthplace of Swedish Modernism. Berg is also considered to be the first to sell furniture in the now-ubiquitous flat packaging to assemble at home. His work is in many public collections, including the National Museum in Stockholm.