Born in Copenhagen in 1902, Arne Jacobsen apprenticed as a bricklayer before studying architecture at the Royal Danish Academy of the Arts. In 1925, he participated in the Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs in Paris, and subsequently travelled to Germany. During this formative trip, he came under the influence of Le Corbusier, Walter Gropius, and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe.
Prior to World War II, Jacobsen designed a number of private and public buildings in Denmark and, in the process, helped to formulate what would eventually be called the Danish Modern style. In 1943, he fled Denmark for Sweden, where he found work designing fabrics and wallpapers, but he returned home after the war. In the ensuing decades, Jacobsen became the most dominant figure in Danish architecture. Inspired greatly by Charles Eames, he began to design furniture for his interiors, such as the iconic Swan Chair and Egg Chair.