Axel Einar Hjorth studied at Tekniska Skolan (later Konstfack Univesity of Arts, Crafts and Design) in Stockholm from 1908 to -10 but had to leave the school before graduation when his foster father died, without leaving any inheritance.
From 1901 Hjorth worked as a draftsman at several furniture companies in Stockholm such as H. Joop & Co and Myrstedt & Steen. When the later was acquired by Nordiska Kompaniet (NK) in 1920, Hjorth worked at their architectural office under Carl Bergsten. During the 1920’s Hjorth began a collaboration with Stockholms Stads Hantverksförening (the crafts association of Stockholm) whose carpenters constructed his furniture during the following decade.
Hjorth got an important role at the Jubilee exhibition in Gothenburg in 1923, whereafter he founded and ran his own design studio in Stockholm until he, in 1927, became the chief architect at NK. As a furniture designer Hjorth participated at the world fairs in Barcelona 1929 and at the Stockholm Exhibition the following year. In Barcelona, NK had a 300 sqm large stand, filled with furniture after Hjorth’s modernistic Swedish Grace design in exclusive materials painted gold, red and yellow. One of the pieces shown is the chair Futurum, made of black lacquered birch wood with red leather straps that forms the seat and back.
At the Stockholm exhibition in 1930, Hjorth participated in several ways, a.o. designing the interiors for the largest villa of the fair, made by Carl Bergsten. During the same year Hjorth was appointed to design the furniture for a café in Stockholm – Tössebageriet – for which he made modernistic pieces of steel and black leather.
The modernist critics where not keen on Hjorths designs for NK, which the thought were too elitist, contrary to the modernistic ideal. As a respons to this, Hjorth designed the collection Typenko (Typ NK in English Sort of NK), that were cheaper and less exclusive. The Bridge Typenko armchair, made of stained birch, french braided rattan and seat cushion upholstered in horsehair fabric is most unusual but a part of the collection at the Museum of Furniture Studies.
At NK Hjorth also designed series of rustic pine wood furniture for sports cabins, called Utö and Lovön (1930) and Sandhamn (1932). From 1938 Hjorth ran a shop in his own name in central Stockholm, where he continued to design and sell the most exclusive furniture on the market. Due to the war the store had to close after only a couple of years, and Hjorth had to start working at the company Aski in the late 1940’s, designing plain office furnishings.
Axel Einar Hjorth passed away in 1959 at the age of 71. He is represented at a.o. the National Museum of Fine Arts in Stockholm and the Röhsska Museum of Craft and Design in Gothenburg.