Works from a New York Interior

Designed by Thierry Despont, The Client Whisperer

The present lot comes from a Manhattan, New York interior designed by renowned architect and interior designer, Thierry Despont. A charming and gregarious Frenchman, he is beloved by wealthy clients across the globe for his empathetic approach and, in his own words, they come to him “because they know I’m a very good listener. My best clients have always been people who had very strong ideas, and it was my role to hold the pencil.” Trained at the École nationale supérieure des beaux-arts, Paris and Harvard University, his list of projects and clients is astounding in both its size and diversity and includes the Statue of Liberty, The Getty Center, the Ritz Paris, Bill Gates, and Calvin Klein. He is also the recipient of the prestigious Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et Letters (1989) and Chevalier, Ordre National de la Légion d’Honneur (1999).

Jens Risom

Often credited with bringing the Scandinavian look to America, Jens Risom crafted enduring, modern furnishings throughout his lengthy career as a designer. Born in Copenhagen in 1916, Risom’s father Sven was a prominent architect. As a young man, he attended the Copenhagen School of Industrial arts and Design where he studied under the Danish masters, Ole Wanscher and Kaare Klint. After graduation, Risom cut his teeth in the design department of Sweden’s Nordiska Kompaniet, before moving to the United States in 1939. In New York City, Risom found freelance work with Dan Cooper and became acquainted with a driven young immigrant from Germany named Hans Knoll. Looking to expand his small company, Knoll asked Risom if he would be interested in designing furniture and interiors for clients around the city. Risom agreed, and in 1942, the duo published the first catalog for the Hans Knoll Company showcasing fifteen pieces from Risom’s 600 line. The inaugural collection included chairs, stools and lounges expertly crafted from spare wood with webbed seats woven from surplus parachute straps (a result of wartime material shortages). Their ingenuity paid off and the venture effectively launched the careers of both men and ushered in a new era of American design.

Auction Results Jens Risom