Meet the Designer Greta Grossman with Olson and Baker
Greta Grossman (1906-1999) maintained a prolific forty-year career as a furniture designer and architect. However, as a relatively unknown designer, her designs were almost forgotten until being rediscovered and reproduced by Gubi.
Grossman came from a family of Swedish cabinetmakers, leading her to become a woodworking apprentice at furniture manufacturer, Kärnans in Helsingborg. Grossman was the only female in the workshop whilst in Helsingborg and quickly recognised the drawbacks of being a female artist, stating she had to be “a step ahead or else”. Grossman later went on to study Furniture Design at Konstfack in Stockholm in 1928, before further studying architecture at the Royal Academy of Technology also in Stockholm.
In 1933 Grossman became the first women to win the Swedish Society of Industrial Design award and subsequently opened Studio, a combined store and workshop. The same year she also married Jazz musician Billy Grossman.
Throughout the 1960s Greta Grossman was a prominent figure in the experimental architecture world drawing influence from European Modernists and the Bauhaus, such as Walter Gropius and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. Fourteen of her sixteen built projects were located in Los Angeles. In 1943, her split-level house in Beverly Hills Featured in John Entenza’s influential magazine Arts & Architecture. The project was a major breakthrough for Grossman and was the first project that allowed Grossman to take on the role as architect and interior designer.
Grossman’s pieces are now highly collectable and sold at auctions around the world. The Grasshopper floor lamp and the Cobra floor and table lamps are amongst her most iconic products, the latter winning the Good Design Award in 1950, subsequently being exhibited at the Good Design Show at the Museum of Modern Art.
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