Den Permanente, Copenhagen
Den Permanente was a very important and relevant Danish Design & Craft store in Copenhagen which operated from the 1930s to the late 1980s. It is particularly relevant to this site as many of the Potters written about here exhibited and sold work at Den Permanente.
The idea for the store was that of Kay Bojesen, a Danish silversmith – but probably today best known for his wooden monkey design. It became a commercial reality when the idea was developed by Christian Grauballe, director of Holmegaard in 1931.
Den Permanente operated as a “Permanent Exhibition of Danish Arts” and promoted the very best in modern Danish design and craft. A large range of objects were sold including furniture, glassware, lighting, ceramics, jewellery and textiles.
Items for exhibition and/or sale were chosen after being assessed by a “Jury” and the managing board. There is a fascinating explanation of the process and more written in 1965 by its director Esbjorn Hoirt which can be read HERE
The store was important not only in Denmark for promoting Danish Design, but world wide. Den Permanente took part in several international exhibitions including the Milan Triennales of 1951-1960; a 1954-1957 exhibition in the U.S. called “Design in Scandinavia” ; “Formes Scandinaves” in Paris 1958; Neue Form aus Denmark Germany/Austria 1957; and “Arts of Denmark” in the U.S. 1960-61.
It is fascinating to be able to read old catalogues from Den Permanente, and the Royal Danish Library in its fascinating Digital Collections has several Den Permanente catalogues which are well worth looking through. Many of the Danish Ceramicists written about on this site have work in the Catalogues. It is fascinating to see works by people such as Bjorn Wiinblad, Ditlev, Helle Allpass, Palshus and many many more.
There don’t seem to be many photographs of the actual store online, but there are several in the archives of the JC Raulston Arboretum at NC State University, United States, which is where the first 4 images are from.