Erik Magnussen1920 - 1930

The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

The designs by Danish silversmith Erik Magnussen for Gorham Manufacturing Company have long been recognized as some of the most elegant and accomplished metalwork objects made in America during the Art Deco period. His work is of the utmost quality in both craftsmanship and design, and his forms clearly evoke the many influences of American Art Deco in their shape, ornament, and style. Magnussen trained as a silversmith in Denmark and was part of the same circle of craftsmen as Georg Jensen. Magnussen was hired by Gorham in 1925 to produce silver in the new modern styles. For the next four years, Magnussen created designs that reflected the influence of the Art Deco style, the American city, and his own classical Danish heritage.

This centerpiece is particularly noteworthy for its size, elegant lines and proportion, luxuriousness of materials, and modern styling. As seen here, Magnussen often incorporated ivory, semiprecious stones, or exotic woods into his designs.

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  • Title: Centerpiece
  • Date Created: 1920 - 1930
  • Physical Dimensions: w23.5 x h30.5 cm (overall)
  • Type: Metalwork
  • External Link: MFAH
  • Medium: Sterling silver, ebony
  • Manufactured by: Gorham Manufacturing Company
  • Designer: Erik Magnussen
  • Credit Line: The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, museum purchase funded by friends of Susan Lapin, with additional funds provided by the W. A. and Madeline Smith Charitable Trust, Jeffrey A. Shankman, Sue Rowan Pittman in memory of Mary Lynch Kurtz, and by various donors in memory of Marian Thompson Deininger