First duty, then pleasure

Bjorn Wiinblad and his sister Ulla went to Miss Adler’s community school. Miss Hanna Adler was the sister to Niels Bohr’s mother, Ellen Adler Bohr (they came from a wealthy Jewish family, prominent in Danish banking and parliamentary circles) and Niels Bohr’s children also went to this school. It was a modern pedagogical recognised school. Bjorn Wiinblad was proud that he had learned to speak English already in 2nd grade. You did not learn that at other schools.

In 1893, having just returned from a study tour to America, Hanna Adler established the first school where girls and boys were taught together. She had studied a number of New England states, inclusive some "Negro schools" and she concluded: ”All reports show that the girls’ physiological characteristics do not stop them from working like the boys.”


Bjorn and his sister sometimes met the King on horseback when they were on their way to the school beside Sortedam Dossering. The King’s horse was stabled at the old Oesterbro Barracks.

Bjorn told with great joy and pride about them meeting the old King. Usually Bjorn and Ulla met the King around Trianglen. They bowed deeply for him, and he asked: ”Children. Are you on your way to school? Now, have you remembered to do your homework, children?” Then they nodded and replied: Yes Sir, King!

There is no doubt that Bjorn Wiinblad was a faithful royalist and later he had a close relationship especially with Queen Ingrid. When he created his annual Easter egg she always received the first example.


In Bjorn Wiinblad’s family there was a tradition to become a trained typographer. Even though Bjorn had a budding artist in his stomach his strict and rational father demanded that Bjorn should get a sensible education. Therefore, he trained as a typographer in a printing house in 1935 and at a Technical College even though he would rather become a graphic designer. He passed, and on 9th April 1940 he received his apprentice certificate, but instead of having a celebration in honour of Bjorn having finished his apprenticeship as planned he had to hang blackouts on the windows. Denmark had been occupied by the Germans.

In 1940-1943 he studied at The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Schools of Visual  Art under professor Aksel Joergensen, who also had Asger Jorn and Ib Spang Olsen as students. Bjorn Wiinblad then worked for a while as illustrator among others at Nationaltidende and as illustrator of especially children’s books.


In the meantime Bjorn took an interest in ceramics and applied for an education within ceramics technique at Lars Syberg’s workshop in Taastrup. In 1946 Jacob E. Bang took steps to associate him with Nymoelle faience factory where he carried out decorative pen stroke sketches, which were applied to bowls, serving plates, vases, tiles etc. Here, Wiinblad immediately showed his flair to fill a defined area and decorate in an unpretentious, but at the same time artistically satisfactory way. The multi-artist Bjorn Wiinblad had found his path …

Source:  The family (nephew Michael Buchwald) and various others