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Hans Christensen digital audio recordings

 Collection — Folder: 1
Identifier: RITArc-0637

Scope and Contents

The Hans Christensen digital audio recordings contains two audio recordings from interviews with Hans Christensen during 1982. One recording covers his life and his work, the other discusses the importance of exhibitions in his career.

Original cassette recordings were digitized on 12/14/2013.


  • Creation: 1982-1982

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open to researchers.

Biographical / Historical

Hans Christensen (1924-1983) uniquely shaped the craft of silversmithing in the United States in the second half of the 20th century. Born in Copenhagen, Denmark January 21,1924, to Holger Christensen, an accountant, and Valborg Makkenbol who took an interest in the arts, Hans was directed to a career in silversmithing by his business-wise father.

Apprenticed to the world renowned Georg Jensen Silversmithy in 1939 concurrent with student classes at the Copenhagen and Oslo School for Arts and Crafts, Hans completed basic apprentice training in 1944 with the creation of a journeyman’s project that won top honors in a yearly nationwide competition. Honored personally by King Frederick of Denmark Hans received two silver medallions for design and execution of his now famous “Tea Pot.” The next eight years saw Mr. Christensen rise to the top position in the prototype department of the Jensen organization and interacted daily with many of the artists who made up the prestigious Jensen design staff.

Hans accepted an invitation to a faculty position at the recently formed School for American Craftsman in 1954 and taught generations of silversmiths and designers for the next 29 years. Hans was first to hold the Charlotte Fredericks Mowris Professorship of Contemporary Crafts, the only endowed position for contemporary craft in the nation, from its inception. Honors were many for Mr. Christensen who exhibited widely throughout his career including an award winning presentation at the Brussels Worlds Fair in 1958. He was named to lifelong status as a Fellow of the American Crafts Council in 1979, was a member of the Guldsmedehøjskolen, Copenhagen, the Institute for Arts and Letters, Switzerland, the Society of North American Goldsmiths and a member of the Nathaniel Rochester Society. His work was reviewed in 13 American and 51 European publications and his work resides in the permanent collections of the royal families of Denmark, Norway, Sweden, England and Iran, past presidents of the United States, the Vatican as well as numerous other political, literary, sports and entertainment figures.

He had recently completed work on a sterling silver ceremonial collar of office for R.I.T., a cross for Bishop Matthew Clark of the Rochester Diocese and had recently received notice that a sterling silver chalice had been accepted to the permanent Vatican Collection of Contemporary Art. At the time of his passing in 1983 he was survived by his wife Els Christensen of Rochester, New York, his mother Valborg Christensen and brother Per Christensen both of Copenhagen.

Hans died in an automobile accident on January 16, 1983.



2 Digital File(s) (Digital audio files)




Digital audio recordings of two interviews with Hans Christensen. Christensen was a world renowned silver smith who taught at RIT for 29 years.


The collection is arranged chronologically.

Physical Location

For access, contact RIT Archive Collections.

Processing Information

Finding aid created by Jennifer Roeszies in November 2015.

Hans Christensen audio recordings
RIT Archives
Jennifer Roeszies
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the RIT Archives Repository

Rochester NY 14623 USA