Crafting Beauty – the Workshop of Mogens Ballin

I wish to make articles of everyday use – of beautiful shape, crafted in bronze, tin, polished copper and other cheap materials; it is my intention to create objects within the reach if everybody’s purse, art for the people – and not sophisticated art for the nouveaux riche.

– Mogens Ballin, 1899


In the year 1900, Danish artist Mogens Ballin (1871-1914) founded a workshop for metal craftsmanship in Hellerup, north of Copenhagen. The workshop became an innovative, groundbreaking institution in Danish artisanry through its production of articles of everyday use constructed in cheaply bought metals such as tin, brass and bronze as well as the more precious silver. Lamps, jewellery and much more were constructed in Jugendstil after designs by Ballin and other artists. In the first years, sculptor Siegfried Wagner served as artistic manager of the workshop. During their time at the workshop, employees such as Just Andersen and Georg Jensen also gathered priceless inspiration for their later work.


The exhibition puts on display a broad selection of the workshop’s efforts into decorative art as well as design sketches and the production models the artists used for their metal workmanship. This includes work done by such figures as Gudmund Hentze, Ludvig Find, Johan Rohde and also painter J.F. Willumsen who did the design work for a single vase. Last but not least, the exhibition contains an exquisite selection of Mogens Ballin’s paintings from his journeys to France.


This exhibition has been created in partnership with Vejen Museum of Art.