Arne Bang


Danish sculptor and ceramic artist Arne Bang was born in 1901 in Frederiksberg into a family of artists: his father was painter Christian Bang, his sister ballet dancer Edel Wagner (1898-1978), and his eldest brother glass designer and architect Jacob E. Bang (1899-1965), with whom he collaborated regularly on projects for glass manufacturer Holmegaard

From 1920 until 1925, Bang trained as a sculptor at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen under the direction of Danish sculptor Einar Utzon-Frank. In 1925, Bang and his brother traveled to Paris for the World Exhibition to contribute to architect Kay Fisker's Danish pavilion. During the exhibition, Bang was introduced to Japanese arts and crafts, which greatly influenced his later works.

In 1926, Bang and Royal Copenhagen’s designer Carl Halier (1873-1948) co-founded the ceramic studio KBS Copenhagen Stentøjsbrænderi. Although the studio was in operation for a very short time (1926-7), the pottery they produced was highly praised by the press and tastemakers alike. Bang renewed his studied in 1928, graduating the following year. His thesis project was the sculpture A Fallen Warrior, for which he received the Academy's gold medal.  The sculpture was designed in 1929, exhibited in 1932, and erected in 1942 as a memorial to the fallen soldiers of World War II. Other notable sculptures by Bang include the portrait of Sophus Clausen (1928) and the Fladså-troll (1944).

In 1929, Bang joined Holmegaard Glassworks alongside his brother, who was the Artistic Director for the company. Bang was put in charge of stoneware production, which he approached with the ambition to create pieces that would be easily affordable to the masses. During the 1930s, it is believed that he created over 10,000 pieces per year for Holmegaard, including vases, dishes, and bowls in monochrome colors with matte glazes. While Bang was at Holmegaard, the company assumed his production rights, selling his pieces under the brandname Holmegaard Stentøj. Later, however, Bang’s stoneware production turned into a private company within the framework of Holmegaard.

In 1931, Bang married organist Olga Elise Brodthagen (1904-1974). Among their four children, their son Jacob Bang (1932-2011) became a successful ceramic artist, designer, and sculptor.

In 1951, Bang began teaching at Holmegaard Glassworks Technical College. During the 1950s, he held other teaching positions with the Herlufsholm boarding school and the Catholic School in Næstved as drawing master. 

Bang passed away in 1983. Today, his works are part of the permanent collections of Design Museum Denmark, the Vejen Art Museum, and the Næstved Museum.