About The Artist
The enigmatic Greta Magnusson Grossman gained prestige and influence in the field of mid-century modernist design because of her innovative pieces which fused Swedish minimalism and California cool. Though perhaps less recognized than some of her contemporaries like Richard Neutra or Rudolph Schindler, her interiors and lamps were often showcased in the esteemed Arts & Architecture magazine photographed by icon Julius Shulman.
In 1941 she came to California, having left Sweden and her thriving design business to escape the hardships of the Second World War. In California Grossman was quickly embraced and within a year opened a shop on Rodeo Drive. Most of her buyers were single, career-minded women, an otherwise overlooked demographic of the time. Grossman paid attention to subtle details in order to make living easier for her clientele, for example, she incorporated laminate tabletops.
Unlike the ubiquitous, streamlined modern designs that proliferated the market, Grossman’s designs differed by way of petite proportions and asymmetric lines; the finished products were playfully sophisticated, yet functional. This aesthetic is embodied in her most notable pieces–the Ralph O. Smith lightings and furniture for Glenn of California. These designs earned Grossman “Good Design” awards, a real feat for any designer, but especially for a female designer of the time.