Plus anniversary!

Oct 10, 2018Julia Kahrs

This year the former applied arts center Plus is celebrating its 60th anniversary, and we are marking this with an exhibition of selected Plus products in collaboration with Blomqvist Nettauksjon. The exhibition opens on Thursday 18 October at 15.00 in our shop and will remain until Friday 2 November, when the products will be auctioned off at Blomqvist. This auction runs from 2.-15. November, and if you visit Blomqvist on Tuesday 13 November at 19.00, you also have the opportunity to catch a lecture about Plus by Steen Ory Bendtzen.

The initiative for the establishment of Plus came from Per Tannum (1912-1994), owner of the shop Norway Designs , who for several years had dreamed of creating a colony of applied artists. On 15 November 1958, the organization Plus was started in the Old Town in Fredrikstad. Plus was supposed to be a mediation center between designers and the industry; they wanted to create a meeting point that made it easier for both parties to get ideas from the drawing board to production. Per Tannum wanted Plus as a focal point to lead to new collections that ensured high quality and good design, combined with a higher production than what the designer could manage himself.

"The applied artist must be introduced to the industry. It is the only way to make Norwegian design, Norwegian design, competitive internationally" (Per Tannum).

Throughout Plus's lifetime (until 1978) , Norway Designs was a distributor of much of what was produced there. Several sought-after design objects were created, and many of these are still alive today. Large parts of Norwegian design history from the period 1958-1978 originate from Plus, and several of the 20th century's leading designers worked here. Tone Vigeland, Benny Motzfeldt, Arne Lindaas, Hermann Bongard, Rolf Hansen, Kristi Skintveit, Turid Holter, Richard Duborgh and Arne Jon Jutrem are some of the artists who were associated with Plus.

Tone Vigeland

Plus was a non-profit organisation, where the goal of profit lay in the various workshops. As a stamp of good design, Plus branded its best products. The Plus mark became a tool to fulfill the organisation's aim to raise the quality of products in terms of form and use. A jury decided which products should be marked, and in this way the jury indirectly shaped Plus' aesthetic policy by putting a mark on the objects that qualified for sale. The sign itself consisted of two right-angled U-shaped parts placed with the opening facing each other, and was supposed to symbolize the collaboration between applied art and industry; a collaboration that would result in a quality addition – a plus for the finished product.

Buy tote bag with Roar Høyland's famous Plus illustration here

Buy the biography of Per Tannum

Pre-order anniversary poster

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