The foundations of Artifort were laid by Jules Wagemans. He set up business as an upholsterer in Maastricht in 1890. His son, Henricus Wagemans, expanded the company into a furniture factory, which had a showroom in Amsterdam by the end of the nineteen thirties and was already well known nationally. The economic recession of the nineteen thirties forced H. Wagemans & Van Tuinen, as the furniture company was then known, to create a distinctive profile. Developing a catchy brand name and logo was a start. And naturally the furniture had to be distinctive too. The emphasis came to lie on functionality, comfort and quality combined with aesthetically pleasing design and an innovative use of materials.
His son Henricus Wagemans takes over the business under the name H. Wagemans & Co.
The new brand name became Artifort 1928, derived from the Latin word ‘ars’ meaning art or knowledge, and ‘fortis’ meaning strong or powerful. The word ‘comfort’ is also reflected in this brand name. Indestructible technique. Artifort’s breakthrough came at the beginning of the nineteen thirties when the company started to use Epeda interior springing. Up until then, straw, horsehair and kapok has been used as .lling materials, sometimes in combination with iron springing. Later, Artifort developed its own style, partly by taking on Gerrit Rietveld as a designer. Furniture designed by him was featured in the Dutch pavilion at the World Fair in 1958.
The production of furniture can not follow the demand. During the Dutch Furniture Fair, Artifort only shows pictures as there is no
stock of furniture.
The company increases continuous. Artifort buys 1956 the building of the St. Servatius brewery in Maastricht and has 400 employees.
A great deal changed 1958 with the arrival of the interior and furniture designer Kho Liang Ie.
His forward-looking view, his great knowledge of design and his international contacts were not only determining factors in the successes of the nineteen sixties and seventies but have continued to exert their inuence up to this day. Artifort and Kho Liang Ie introduced talked-about designs and together ensured that the name Artifort became the name for lovers of architecture and design. Artifort continues to write history_In the light of the 21st century. Artifort continues to devote a lot of attention to improving its production methods. New factories have opened in Schijndel and Lanaken in Belgium where our know-how in furniture construction is perfectly combined with the art of upholstering. The revival of design from the nineteen sixties and seventies ensures that the Artifort classics from those years are becoming even more popular than they were.