Cabinet and armchairs

by Carl Hörvik

July 2015

Nationalmuseum is delighted to have received a magnificent gift: a cabinet and two armchairs designed by the architect Carl Hörvik and manufactured by Nordiska Kompaniet for the Swedish pavilion at the 1925 World’s Fair in Paris. The pieces formed part of a larger suite of furniture awarded the exhibition’s highest accolade, the Grand Prix. With their exclusive design, the pieces were definitely produced for the luxury market. The cabinet and the chairs are made of oak, with inlays of various other woods, the chair backs are wicker weave, and the seats are upholstered in horsehair. The cabinet, intended to be displayed with the doors open, contains three gilded niches meant for exhibiting objets d’art.

The 1925 Paris World’s Fair, L’Exposition internationale des arts décoratifs et industriels modernes, proved a great success for Sweden, which won more awards than any country except the host nation. In style terms, the event marked a period of transition. Art Deco, the style named after the exhibition, was at its peak, but the modern functionalist style was also represented, for instance in Le Corbusier’s L’esprit nouveau pavilion.

The Swedish pavilion, designed by Carl Bergsten, and the exhibits in it exemplified a restrained, pared-down classicism, which found favour with contemporary critics. Nationalmuseum already has in its collections the commendation awarded to Carl Hörvik at the World’s Fair and the chandelier by Carl Bergsten that was displayed with the suite of furniture.

The cabinet and chairs have been generously donated by Ernst and Carl Hirsch through the Friends of Nationalmuseum and the Friends of Naionalmuseum. The donation is an important contribution to Nationalmuseum’s efforts to expand its collection of early 20th-century applied art. Nationalmuseum has no budget of its own for new acquisitions, but relies on gifting and financial support from private funds and foundations to enhance its collections of fine art and craft.

Inventory number:
Cabinet NMK 91/2015
Chairs NMK 92-93/2015

Picture: Carl Hörvik, cabinet and armchairs from the 1925 World’s Fair.

Carl Hörvik, cabinet from the 1925 World’s Fair. Larger picture. 

Carl Hörvik, armchairs from the 1925 World’s FairLarger picture. 


Art Library and Museum Archives,
Holmamiralens väg 2,
Skeppsholmen, Stockholm 

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