Grete Jalk was born in 1920. After completing her school leaving examination, she enrolled at Copenhagen University to study philosophy and law, but after completing the philosophy element she dropped out of university and instead took a year’s instruction in design at the Drawing and Applied Art School for Women.
In 1941, she served a three year apprenticeship with cabinetmaker Karen Margrethe Conradsen. In the final year of her apprenticeship she started at the College of Arts and Crafts Furniture School, graduating in 1946.
Subsequently, Grete Jalk studied at the Academy of Fine Art’s Furniture School under Kaare Klint and from 1950 until 1960 she taught at the College of Arts and Crafts Furniture School herself. In 1954 she got her own studio and in 1963 won a British furniture competition – the Daily Mail International Furniture competition with her moulded plywood chair – the GJ Chair.
That same year, the chair was bought by the Museum of Modern Art in New York where it has remained on permanent exhibition. Grete Jalk died in 2006, aged 86.