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Esben Klint

In 1934, at the age of 19, Esben Klint completed his apprenticeship as a cabinetmaker, gaining a bronze medal. Already the following year, he graduated from the construction master’s school in Copenhagen. Esben Klint then spent a year at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, after which he began working at various design studios in Copenhagen and abroad. During this time, he worked for his father, Kaare Klint at the Bethlehem Church in Copenhagen, for Mogens Koch on furniture for Skive Hospital, for the Swedish architect E.G. Asplund on furniture for a school in Karlshamn, Sweden, on industrial design for Philips radio factory in Eindhoven, the Netherlands – and with his close friend Børge Mogensen on designing wooden school furniture. In 1948, he joined the Danish Association of Architects, becoming a board member in 1950.

Esben Klint’s main source of inspiration came from his travels at home and abroad, the aim of which was always to seek out and experience architecture. He travelled in the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Germany, Belgium, France, Switzerland, Poland and, what was then, the USSR. In Denmark, Esben Klint liked to travel to the west coast of Jutland and Southern Jutland, where he had also spent a great deal of time as a child.

Esben Klint opened his own design studio in 1954, and following Kaare Klint’s death, he took over several of his father’s unfinished works – including St. Nicholas Church and Christian’s Church in the Danish towns of Aabenraa and Sønderborg respectively. Esben Klint regarded his work on the completion of Grundtvig’s Church in Copenhagen as one of his greatest achievements – a work that his grandfather P. V. Jensen-Klint had begun in 1921, continued by his father Kaare Klint, and completed by Esben Klint, the third generation of the family. To this day, Grundtvig’s Church remains one of Copenhagen’s most striking and spectacular buildings.

Esben Klint worked in his own design studio and, from 1960, also had a full-time job with the Royal Building Inspector Nils Koppel, where he was responsible for the supervision and restoration of state churches and castles.

Industrious, meticulous and perfectionistic, Esben Klint approached his projects with a high degree of seriousness and attention to detail. Despite his collaborations with some of the greatest architects and designers of the time, Esben Klint was, and remained, his father’s disciple – a fact clearly evidenced by his church furniture, lamps and furniture. He exhibited several times at the Charlottenborg Spring Exhibition, the Copenhagen Cabinetmakers’ Guild Exhibition and at Købestævnet in the Danish town of Fredericia together with his friend, Børge Mogensen. Esben Klint died of illness in 1969 – just 53 years old.

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