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1902 Danish Essay Identified- May 1999
By Dr. William R. Benfield  (Page 2 of 3)



PAGE ONE .... PAGE TWO .... PAGE THREE



Watermarks - Figs 1 thru 5

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Several hundred artists participated in the 1902 competition; many were well known throughout Denmark. In an effort to guarantee an impartial jury, the judges were not permitted to know which artist bad produced each design. This was accomplished by requiring the artists to submit their designs without signing their names. In lieu of names, the artists were asked to mark their work using a unique symbol or word. The artist's identity was then to be written on a piece of paper along with the symbol or word. This paper was to be sealed in an envelope with only the symbol or word on the outside. Only after the judges had picked the five winners, were the sealed envelopes opened and the identity of the winning artists revealed.

The original identity envelopes of the five winners are preserved in the Danish Post & Tele Museum in Copenhagen. Therchilsen used the number 16 enclosed in a circle as his secret symbol. Hagen's symbol was a fleur-de-lys and Larsen used a fancy letter "L". Svend Hammershöi selected his own initials ''SH'' and Slott-Møller used the word "Michael".

Now, nearly one hundred years after the design competition, the identity envelopes are once again being used to identify one of the designs submitted to the 1902 competition. A second design submitted by Harald Slott-Møller ("Michael") has been rediscovered.

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