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Kay Bojesen Monkey

Up close with a beloved Danish design classic; Kay Bojesen's wooden Monkey. Few 'toys' have had a greater impact on the appreciation of Danish design than Kay Bojesen's iconic Monkey. The Monkey, with its pranksters face, possesses a timeless aesthetic design quality and play value.  Despite the year in which it was designed (1951), it is still up to date and relevant.  Few design objects can rival the popularity of this radically redefined art/play object. The Kay Bojesen Monkey is one of the most popular toys in Scandinavia. In fact, it is said that 1 out of every 2 households in Denmark has a Bojesen Monkey 'hanging around'.

Kay Bojesen had many talents and a wonderful imagination. He worked diligently to create design lines that, in his own words, smiled. This special talent has created a magical universe of wooden animals and figurines that have become treasured classics the world over. Since Kay Bojesen designed his iconic Monkey in 1951, interest in his wooden design toys has been tremendous. In the early 1950s, it was so popular that it was exhibited at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. The mischievous Monkey and all his friends have gone from cool to cult, not least riding the wave of the nature trend as a strong element on the Scandinavian design scene.  Re-introduced in the US by design purveyor nova68, it is now only a matter of time before the MoMA places it in their permanent design collection. 

Kay Bojesen's premise in his work was a conviction that his objects should have life, blood and a heart. People should want to pick them up, and they should radiate humanity, warmth and vibrancy. The monkey was produced in accordance with Bojesen's motto that the lines in a design should smile. With this belief in mind, Kay Bojesen created treasured and beloved characters that appeal to the child within us all. Their easy expressions have brought joy to many the world over.

The Small Monkey is priced at $189.99.  The Large Monkey, a real collectors gem, 
is priced at $1,699.00. You can find them at nova68.com (US based / worldwide shipping).

Text and image credits: Lucia Fontana for moderndesign.org