In 1954 Christian and Grethe Flensted created their first mobile, the Danish Luck Storks (FM-1 still in production today, over fifty years later), to celebrate the baptism of their daughter Mette. In 1956 Christian Flensted gave up his job to devote all his effort to the fledgling mobiles business, then based in Aalborg, Jutland. By 1971, production had grown so much that new premises were needed and the business moved back to the home island of Funen and founded “The Stork’s Nest” in Tommerup and stayed here for about 20 years and then moved to the old school building “Frederiksminde” near Brenderup, Funen, which is still the FLENSTED MOBILE CENTRE.
Originally Flensted mobiles were sold in bookshops and craft centres. Today, they are sold predominantly through museum and gallery gift outlets, contemporary furniture and design stores and children’s shops, and enjoy an international success. In Denmark, the mobiles are sold in Illums Bolighus Airport, Tivoli and many museums (e.g. all the larger mobiles can be seen at Statens Museum for Kunst in Copenhagen. The company is part owner of ARTIUM, a Scandinavian Design shop located in central Copenhagen.
Over the years Flensted mobiles have been shown in many prominent exhibitions across Europe: at Charlottenborg, Copenhagen; at the United Nations in Geneva; and at the Bern Ornaris Selection, a retrospective expo at the Filosofgangen in Odense. They were for sale during the Calder exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts in London and the Picasso/Braque/Miro/Kandinsky/ Calder exhibition at the Meisterwerke aus dem Guggenheim Musen in the Kunsthalle of Hamburg.
Over the years the mobiles have featured in films, TV commercials and magazine advertisements. The most high-profile example was “Who is afraid of Virginia Wolf”, in which the mobile FM-5R Flowing Rhythm was shown in the bedroom of Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor.
We have seen three of our mobiles on auction on one of Denmark’s leading internet auctions. The strange thing was that all three were still in production but the price of a second-hand mobile was almost four times higher than a new one!
Ole, the founders son, and his wife Aase, officially took over the company in 1982. Christian Flensted passed away in December 1994, but his wife Grethe still lives in Odense.
All Flensted mobiles are hand-made in Denmark, and offer high quality at a moderate price. Elements are assembled and packed by about 50 skilled home-workers and their families. Many of the original Flensted mobiles are still in production, but the contemporary designs are now the bestsellers. Ole Flensted is the chief designer, but for introducing new ideas often works in conjunction with artists. Ole is currently engaged in a series of large-scale mobiles. This project allows the design and supply of mobiles for special purposes: for use as one-off pieces for large spaces, or in large quantities for use as corporate gifts or as Christmas and New Year greetings. Many of our standard mobiles are well-suited as commercial presents and act as constant “visiting cards” for the sender.