Bruno Mathsson is one of Sweden’s most prominent and famous furniture designers of all time. He was born in Värnamo and, today, Bruno Mathsson International exhibits the furniture in the glasshouse he had built adjacent to his childhood home.
With a long tradition of carpentry in the family, Bruno Mathsson took the art of carpentry to new heights. He was fascinated by the possibilities of developing the design and function of furniture in symbiosis with high-quality wood technology. Bruno Mathsson developed his own language of design, and the furniture was not immediately to everyone’s taste. Custom-made chairs for the waiting rooms at Värnamo Hospital were nicknamed ‘Grasshoppers’ and were so disliked by the staff that after some time, they were put away in the attic. The breakthrough did not wait, however, and the ’Grasshoppers’ began to be used.
The mechanics of sitting and world exhibitions
Bruno Mathsson carefully studied the mechanics of sitting, including by sitting in a snowdrift to let the seating curve that he made inspire and form the basis of his designs. Bentwood and saddle webbing are recurrent materials in his furniture. His idea was to produce comfortable seating furniture without using springs and stuffing.
In 1937, at the world exhibition in Paris, Bruno Mathsson received a Grand Prix for his bed Paris, and his international breakthrough followed. He delivered furniture to the Museum of Modern Art in New York and took part in more world exhibitions.
The continued interest in Bruno Mathsson’s furniture is proof of its timelessness. While it is exhibited at museums, it is also considered modern, fresh and functional, and it adorns many Swedish homes.
Summer home of glass and guided tours
On a long visit to the USA, Bruno Mathsson was inspired to build glasshouses, which attracted much attention. One of the glasshouses is now the exhibition hall in Värnamo, and others are the villa in Tånnö and the summer house in Frösakull outside Halmstad. The houses are characterised by their closeness to nature, simplicity and functionality, as well as Bruno Mathsson’s love of light.
Glasshouses were also built in Kosta in the form of terraced houses, and, if you would like, you can stay the night or hold a conference there. Three flats are available to hire through Novasol. Conferences in and guided tours of the original flat can be booked through the Municipality of Lessebo.
Guided tours of the Bruno Mathsson Center in Värnamo can be booked through Värnamo Tourism, telephone +46(0)370-188 99.