Skip to main content
Pelican Chair
Iconic Designs

Pelican Chair

About the Design

A chair ahead of its time, Finn Juhl's (1912–89) Pelican was the Danish designer’s first expressively sculptural piece — an influential and starkly unconventional example of Danish modern furniture. Produced for the Danish Cabinetmakers’ Guild Exhibition in 1940, Juhl’s curved, tufted and padded Pelican is reflective of modern art influences, in particular, works by Dadaist sculptor Jean Arp. Its organic shape and stumpy pine legs drew mixed reactions, however, with one critic comparing it to a “tired walrus.” Although initially misunderstood, the Pelican embodied Juhl’s interest in merging practicality with sculpture. It was an artful shift from the large and chunky seating that was popular during the 1940s.



A regular visitor at Copenhagen's National Gallery as a teenager, Juhl initially had his sights set on becoming an art historian. His father pushed him into architecture, and the younger Juhl would spend the first decade of his career working for Vilhelm Lauritzen’s firm. Juhl mastered furniture design on his own and began to collaborate with cabinetmaker Niels Vodder in 1937. The two worked mostly with dark woods like rosewood and teak, producing popular designs such as 1949’s Chieftain chair as well as the Pelican.
 

One of his signature works, Juhl’s Pelican chair is also among his most venturesome. It references directly the deep interests he developed as a young man, studying primitive art, Arp’s works and Pablo Picasso. Relaunched by One Collection in 2001, the Pelican is still as wholly functional as Juhl intended — it’s comfortable enough to read in for hours — but marks the outer limits of his very broad design capabilities.


Pelican Chair

Filter Results
to
Item Location
13
13
9
7
7
6
Finn Juhl Pelican Chair Upholstered in Raf Simons Fabric
By Finn Juhl
Located in Barcelona, Barcelona
Pelican chair designed by Finn Juhl Manufactured by One collection Finn Juhl in Denmark (House of Finn Juhl) This listing is for the raf simons yellow-green upholstered Pelican c...
Category

2010s Danish Modern Armchairs

Materials

Upholstery, Wood

Finn Juhl Garnet Pelican Chair Kvadrat Remix
By Finn Juhl
Located in Barcelona, Barcelona
Pelican chair designed by Finn Juhl Manufactured by One collection Finn Juhl in Denmark Pelican chair was probably the one furthest ahead of its time. When it was presented at th...
Category

2010s Danish Modern Armchairs

Materials

Wood, Upholstery

Finn Juhl Grey Pelican Chair Pelican Divina Melange
By Finn Juhl
Located in Barcelona, Barcelona
Category

2010s Danish Modern

Materials

Upholstery, Walnut

Finn Juhl Pelican Chair Vidar, Walnut
By Finn Juhl
Located in Barcelona, Barcelona
Category

2010s Danish Modern

Materials

Upholstery, Walnut

Finn Juhl Pelican Chair
By Finn Juhl
Located in Barcelona, Barcelona
Category

2010s Danish Modern

Materials

Sheepskin, Walnut

Finn Juhl Pelican Black Leather Chair Pelican-Passion
By Finn Juhl
Located in Barcelona, Barcelona
Pelican chair designed by Finn Juhl Manufactured by One Collection Finn Juhl in Denmark. Pelican chair was probably the one furthest ahead of its time. When it was presented at t...
Category

2010s Danish Modern Armchairs

Materials

Leather, Walnut

Finn Juhl Pelican Chair
By Finn Juhl
Located in Barcelona, Barcelona
Category

2010s Danish Modern

Materials

Sheepskin, Walnut

Finn Juhl Pelican Chair Skandilock Sheep Offwhite - Walnut
By Finn Juhl
Located in Barcelona, Barcelona
Pelican Chair designed by Finn Juhl Manufactured by One Collection Finn juhl in Denmark Pelican Chair was probably the one furthest ahead of its time. When it was presented at t...
Category

2010s Danish Modern Armchairs

Materials

Sheepskin, Walnut

Finn Juhl Pelican Chair
By Finn Juhl
Located in Barcelona, Barcelona
Category

2010s Danish Modern

Materials

Sheepskin, Walnut

Finn Juhl Red Pelican Chair Upholstered in Red Kvadrat Remix Fabric
By Finn Juhl
Located in Barcelona, Barcelona
Category

2010s Danish Modern

Materials

Upholstery, Walnut

Finn Juhl Pelican Chair Uphostered in Grey
By Finn Juhl
Located in Barcelona, Barcelona
Category

2010s Danish Modern

Materials

Upholstery, Wood

Finn Juhl Pelican Chair Upholstered in Dark Grey Fabric
By Finn Juhl
Located in Barcelona, Barcelona
Category

2010s Danish Modern

Materials

Upholstery, Wood

Finn Juhl Pelican Chair Skandilock Sheep Off-White, Walnut
By Finn Juhl
Located in Barcelona, Barcelona
Pelican chair designed by Finn Juhl Manufactured by One collection Finn Juhl in Denmark Pelican chair was probably the one furthest ahead of its time. When it was presented at th...
Category

2010s Danish Modern Armchairs

Materials

Sheepskin, Walnut