Finn Juhl reached his absolute peak as a pioneering furniture designer with the imposing Chieftain Chair at the 1949 Guild Exhibition. The chair is probably the most well known of all his chairs and a powerful design, which not only dominates in size and extravagance, but which also needs a lot of space around it to do itself justice. It is in true and proper fashion a Chieftain. It has, with good reason, been called an icon of Danish furniture design.
Finn Juhl was however quite modest about the development process of the chair, and did not have any expectations of its greatness. Finn Juhl said:
“I started drawing the Chieftain Chair one day in the spring of 1949. I was at home, and I started drawing around 10 am with a five cm sketch – just four vertical lines connected with ‘something’ and by two or three o’clock in the morning I had painted it. But in reality I don’t know how long it took me to design that chair. Perhaps I had a vague idea for some time that I wanted to design something bigger. There had been so many small, handy chairs, so I probably felt like designing something a bit more pompous...”