Jens Harald Quistgaard (JHQ) was born in Copenhagen in 1919 into an artistic environment with close connections to the Academy of Arts. His parents were both artists, one a sculptor, the other a painter. At an early age, JHQ became his father's assistant and was apprenticed to one of Denmark's most distinguished silversmiths, Georg Jensen.
In the years following the second world war, JHQ exhibited at Charlottenborg in the spring exhibits of 1947, 1951 and 1952; Habitations Nouvelles, Paris 1955; the annual exhibits of Danish designers and craftsmen (from 1940 to the1960s); Milan 1954; the Danish Museum of Decorative Art; Museum of Modern Art, N.Y.; and he has had separate exhibits, among others at Lerchenborg manor in Denmark.
JHQ received gold and silver medals at the triennial in Milan 1954, the Lunning Prize 1954, and the Neimann Marcus Prize in 1958.
JHQ has carried out design, architecture, logo and project assignments for: Danish International Design Ltd. N.Y.; Trip Trap Dk; Bing & Grøndahl Dk; Georg Jensen DK; Ted Nierenberg Mt. Kisco N.Y.; Vacation village in Penang, Malaysia; Eslau Ceramics Dk; The Danish Police, town arms for Danish boroughs; Aalborg Portland Dk.; Palshus Ceramics Dk.; Holmegaard Glassworks Dk; The Royal Porcelain Factory Dk.; Nissen Wood Factory Dk; Slagelse Silverware Factory Dk; IQ Designs and a large number of other companies and organisations.
In his extensive and far-reaching lifework, JHQ has always approached things from the sculptor's perspective. His work has always and will always be marked by an abiding fondness - and respect -for the traditions of craftsmanship that he learned as a young man by working actively with the local village craftsmen, from whom JHQ learned the art and skills of the carpenter and the smith.
JHQ's desire to create better designed products led him early to industrial art, and with his exceptional craftsmanship, his well-developed sense of the third dimension and his great and abundant creativity and originality JHQ made a name for himself as a designer of a wealth of product lines, furniture, cutlery, pots and pans, ceramics, porcelain, articles of wood and textiles that for two generations now have combined to give the user a sense of an aesthetic whole.
Very often, Quistgaard's intimate knowledge of traditional techniques has shown industry new and innovative ways, and throughout his life he has had an affinity with the idealists behind the English Arts and Crafts movement. The enormous success of the company Dansk Designs on the American market, as well as in Japan and many other export markets, has given JHQ wide recognition.
JHQ is still very active, and from his drawing board and studio new distinctive products continue to appear. In co-operation with IQ Designs and IHQ.DK, these products - the antiques of the future - will be produced and marketed for the joy and benefit of present and future generations.