Per Lütken (1916-1998)


Per Lütken is considered one of the two best best Danish glass designers ever, being Jacob Bang the other one, and probably no other has been so important to Danish glass in the 20th century. It was precisely after Jacob Bang left Holmegaard that Lütken was given the position of creative director at the big Danish glassworks, for which he’s said to have designed more than 3000 pieces. He worked there from 1942 and until his death in 1998. Maybe one of the most important things we can say about Per Lütken is the magnitude of his love for glass.

If Holmegaard glassworks started to have international recognition in the late 1920 due to the work as creativedirector of an architect (Jacob Bang), it was a painter, Lütken, who took the company to its highest point both in terms of design and as a business. Lütken, who was trained as a painter at the Skolen for Dansk Kunsthåndværk in Copenhagen, where he graduated in 1937, lacked all experience in glassmaking when started working for the company in 1942, although he was a skilled designer.

His duty was creating both table glass (he designed a myriad of ranges, amongst the best known ones are Butler, Ideelle, Skibsglas, No.5, High Life, Baloon and Charlotte Amalie) and art glass (and here there is an endless list of glass ranges, although I’d name Violet trefløjet, Duckling/Næbvase, Selandia or Fionia, Flamingo, Grønland, Carnaby, Cascade, Lava, Vintergæk or Det levende glas).

Amazingly, Lütken kept track of all the special designs he made for exhibitions, as well as unique specimens (the so-called unika items). He did in what he called “Min sorte bog” (My black book), which is a complete list of those works dating back from October 1942, with items created for an exhibition in Stockholm, to those that were displayed at the Nygode 4 gallery in January 1985 (when he was aged 69), although Lütken continued designing for Holmegaard until 1995, at age 79. So it seems he either stoped keeping track of these special designs or he stoped making them altogether.

WINSTON range, 1956

CANADA range, 1955

BUTLER range, 1973

HARMONY range, 1977/1984

GRØNLAND range, 1960

CARNABY vases, 1968

CASCADE vases and tumblers, 1970

LAVA vases, 1970