Poul Kjaerholm (Danish, 1929–1980) was a designer known for his Modern Functionalist furniture. Born in Øster Vrå in northern Denmark, Kjaerholm studied at the Danish School of Arts and Crafts in Copenhagen. After graduating in 1952, Kjaerholm, with the support his lifelong friend and entrepreneur Ejvind Kold Christiansen, began designing furniture, distinguishing himself for his unique, minimalist aesthetic.
He went on to design dozens of chairs, long chairs, and tables that became groundbreaking for Danish furniture design. In 1958, he created the now-famous PK22 chair and the PK 24 long chair for the Formes Scandinaves exhibition in Paris. A year later, he became an assistant and lecturer at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts. He was then appointed head of the Institut for Design, where he worked until his death.
Kjaerholm was a strong advocate for industrial production. While most of his contemporaries used wood as their primary material, Kjaerholm preferred to work in steel, but always combined it with wood, leather, cane, canvas, and marble.
His designs are in the permanent collections of The Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, and other institutions in Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and Germany. His numerous awards include two Grand Prix at the Milan Triennale in 1957 and 1960, the ID Award, and the Lunning Award in 1958. In 2006, a major retrospective of his work was held at the Louisiana Museum of Art in Denmark.