pedermoos, Aabenraa, Denmark, 1988, p. 37 (for a chair with a similar seatback design in 1944)
Bodil Stauning, Ej blot til pynt, Stockholm, 2005, pp. 2-15 (for a discussion of Peder Moos’s work from 1924-1968)
The work of Peder Moos is unique and unexpected. His designs are both a declarative departure from the classic Danish furniture tradition, and a modification of the precepts that have driven this craftsman culture for generations.
Throughout his career, Peder Moos designed furniture only for individual commissions and Cabinetmaker’s exhibitions. Although he maintained a workshop usually within or adjacent to his home, Moos personally executed all of his works. Creating first a scale model, he would then undertake the full size work. Clients ordering from Moos chose only the form, such as a chair or table, and the rest was left to him. Neither a price nor delivery date was provided when the pieces were ordered. The materials and characteristics of the specific pieces of wood combined with inspiration from nature dictated the form.
Moos was trained as a craftsman and began his career with the manufacturer Peder Petersen in Copenhagen. In 1935, he attended classes taught by one of the most influential Danish designers of the period, Kaare Klint. Klint epitomized the classic Danish tradition of design, governed by mathematically accurate proportions and architectonic forms. Though the stylistic similarities between the two are not always apparent, there is an attention to material and clarity of function that clearly inspired both designers.
Peder Moos was not driven by a concept of decoration. His priority in design was to function and use, however he clearly was not blind to aesthetics. The brilliant curvilinear organic forms were products of his instinctual craftsmanship and the woods selected. The most impressive and distinct elements of Moos’s designs are the details of the craftsmanship. For Moos, decoration was extraneous and what were identified by others as his decorative elements were for him a result of function. Primary woods were chosen for hardness based on the function of the form while the secondary wood added strength and color. It is the functional details that create the unprecedented beauty in the design of the furniture of Peder Moos.
Instead of signing his works, Moos chose an emblematic design that exhibited both his sensitivity to contrasting wood, as well as his creativity. The design combines two “x” forms, which signify the twentieth century. Embedded within the design are also two letter “M,” for Moos, enclosed within varying types of wood.
Moos’s delicate surfaces convey a complex intricacy in their details. The work of Peder Moos remains today as provocative and atypical as it was during the time in which it was created.
Beginning in the 1970s, the output of designs from Peder Moos began to slow. Each work is therefore an intricate study executed with patience. According to the designer’s son, this was the final chair completed in Peder Moos’s career. The craftsmanship of the extraordinary chair is amplified with the brilliant contrasting selection of the woods and joinery. The upholstery is designed by Marie Moos, Peder’s sister, and was specifically created for this particular masterwork.
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