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Jo Hammerborg

Danemark (1920-1982)

Johannes (Jo) Hammerborg was born in 1920 in the city of Randers in the Midtjylland region of Denmark, the fourth of seven children.

After completing his high school education in Randers, Hammerborg undertook training as a silversmith in Randers and Silkeborg during 1942 and 1943. In 1944 he entered Copenhagen’s Kunstakademiet, the prestigious Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, and exhibitions of his paintings took place in Randers each year from 1944 to 1947.

In 1949 he took up work as a silversmith at Georg Jensen, where he remained for the next eight years.

In 1957 Hammerborg became head of design at Fog & Mørup.

His incumbency in this role was to prove the most successful period in the company’s 80-year history both artistically and commercially as he introduced a new modernist aesthetic, imposed a unified style of branding and introduced stringent new standards for the company’s output. From the smallest components making up the lamps to their labelling, packaging, advertising and showroom display, every facet of the business came under Hammerborg’s exacting eye for form and detail.

Hammerborg was a prolific designer, personally creating over 60 lamps, and also collaborated with other designers in adapting their designs to meet F&M’s new production requirements.

He worked closely with Holmegaard glassworks during the development of both his own glass lamps and those by Jacob E Bang, and similarly with Royal Copenhagen during F&M’s collaborations with the porcelain factory.

Jo Hammerborg’s own lighting designs for Fog & Mørup won numerous prizes, amongst them a CICi first prize in 1965 for the Nova and four iF Product Design Awards in 1969 for the Classic, Tunika, Saturn and Diskos.

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