Greta Grossman

This week's featured designer maintained a prolific forty-year career and received great recognition for her work in industrial design, interior design and architecture

Greta Magnusson-Grossman (d. July 21, 1906 – d. August 1999) was a Swedish furniture designer, interior designer, and architect. She was one of the few female designers to gain prominence during the mid-20th century architectural scene in Los Angeles. Her early exposure to European Modernism deeply influenced her later architectural work, seen as a synthesis of European ideals and the culture and lifestyle of Southern California.

Magnusson descended from a family of Swedish cabinetmakers, and was a woodworking apprentice at furniture manufacturer Kärnans in Helsingborg after she graduated from Ebba Lundbergs Högre. During her apprenticeship in Helsingborg, she was the only female in the workshop. Grossman recognized the drawbacks of being a female artist and stated that she felt she had, "to be a step ahead or else". In 1928, Magnusson went on to study Furniture Design at Konstfack in Stockholm. She later studied architecture at the Royal Academy of Technology in Stockholm.

In 1933, having successfully completed her fellowship at the renowned Stockholm arts institution, Konstfack, she opened Studio, a combined store and workshop. During the same year Grossman married jazz musician, Billy Grossman with whom she later emigrated to the United States, settling in Los Angeles.

Through the 40's and 50's Grossman exhibited her designs at museums worldwide, including MoMA in New York and The National Museum in Stockholm.

The most iconic products Greta Grossman designed in the 40's and 50's were the Gräshoppa floor lamp and the Cobra floor and table lamps. In 1950, the Cobra lamp won the Good Design Award and was subsequently exhibited at the Good Design Show at the Museum of Modern Art.



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