Hans Christensen silver from the estate of Elisabeth Christensen
Scope and Contents
The Hans Christensen silver from the estate of Elisabeth Christensen consists of:
1. Salt and Pepper shakers (circa 1959)
2. Serving utensils (spoon and fork)
3. Dovetail Pin
4. Square hole pin
5. Box top pin
6. Duck pin
Items have no date information, other than the salt and pepper shakers.
- Creation: circa 1950-1970
- Christensen, Hans (1924-1983) (Artist, Person)
Conditions Governing Access
This collection is open to researchers.
Biographical / Historical
Hans Jorgen Thorvald Christensen (1924-1983) was born in Copenhagen, Denmark on January 21, 1924. An aspiring artist, Christensen was exposed to the world of art from a young age. His father, Holger, was an accountant with clients involved in the fields of art and architecture, while his mother, Valborg (née Makkenbol) also expressed interest in the field. Although Holger wanted his son to enter the business world, he supported his son's interest in the arts, and pushed him toward a career in silversmithing.
In 1939, Christensen started as an apprentice at the world-renowned Georg Jensen Silversmithy, while simultaneously taking classes at the School of Arts and Crafts in Copenhagen. His journeyman project – a teapot – not only earned him his silversmith certificate on March 30, 1944, but also won him two silver medallions. A rare accomplishment, these two awards were given in the categories of design and execution and were presented by King Frederick IX of Denmark.
Christensen continued working at Georg Jensen Silversmithy in the prototype department. In 1952, he traveled to the United States as a representative for an exhibition of Jensen factory works at the Museum of Modern Art. Although encouraged to stay in America, Christensen returned to Denmark. From 1952-1954, he worked as the lead silversmith in the prototype department and in 1953 he earned the equivalent of a master's degree in the field.
Christensen immigrated to the United States in 1954 when he accepted a faculty position at the School for the American Craftsman at the Rochester Institute of Technology. He was named professor in 1963 and was chosen for the Charlotte Fredericks Mowris Professorship in Contemporary Arts in 1976 as its first recipient. Christensen taught at the school for 29 years until his untimely death in an automobile accident on January 16, 1983. He was awarded the Eisenhart Award for Outstanding Teaching by RIT posthumously in 1983.
A distinguished artist, Christensen earned many honors throughout his lifetime. He was awarded membership into the International Institute of Arts and Letter in Switzerland (1960) and the College of Fellows of the American Crafts Council (1979), as well as the Guldsmedehoikoleforeningen, Copenhagen, the Society of North American Goldsmiths, and the Nathaniel Rochester Society. In 1979, he was also chosen to represent Rochester, NY at the Rennes World Trade Fair held in Rennes, France. Internationally-renowned, Christensen's works are included in the collections of various royal families including Denmark, Norway, Sweden, England, and Iran, as well as the Vatican.
6 Item(s) (6 silver objects)
6 silver pieces by Hans Christensen.
The collection is stored together in a box.
C.S.North, Shelf 75
These pieces were originally part of the estate of Elisabeth Christensen, wife of Hans Christensen.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Purchase, October 2011
Accession number(s): 2011:094
Finding aid created by Becky Simmons in December 2011.
- Rochester Institute of Technology -- Art collections (Organization)
- Rochester Institute of Technology -- Faculty (Organization)
- Rochester Institute of Technology. School for American Crafts (Organization)
- Hans Christensen silver from the estate of Elisabeth Christensen
- RIT Art Collection
- Becky Simmons
- 7 December 2011
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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- Script of description
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- Language of description note