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5 February until 30 May 2021
Peter Gustaf Dorén
Interior Design in Hamburg circa 1900

Moss green, dove grey, reseda green, egg-yolk yellow and plum – what may sound like the colour palette for the latest decorating trend was in fact the recipe for success for the Swedish interior designer Peter Gustaf Dorén (1857–1942). The construction boom in Hamburg at the turn of the twentieth century provided a range of opportunities not only for building but also for the design of both public and private interiors. Peter Gustaf Dorén had a sure sense of quality and aesthetics. He frequented trade fairs and exhibitions, was a member of the Deutscher Werkbund, and was well-connected, including an acquaintance with MK&G founding director Justus Brinckmann. Dorén furnished the villas of many well-heeled Hamburg residents. The Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten and Schümanns Austernkeller fish restaurant on the Jungfernstieg with its themed private rooms also bore his signature. As a journeyman painter, Dorén first came to Hamburg via Copenhagen and set up shop in a prestigious office building on the Pulverteich, employing 200 people in his decorating business in its heyday. The Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg (MK&G) is mounting the first-ever exhibition of his work, featuring around 200 objects from private collections. Colour sample cards, detailed design sketches and stunning photographs of finished rooms give an impression of how he planned and executed his designs, from the awarding of the contract to the initial ideas and final execution.


Image: Atelier Gust. Dorén, wall painting and furnishings for a living  room, gouache, 1904 © Peter Nils Dorén (Detail)