Greta Magnusson Grossman (1906-1999) maintained a prolific forty-year career on two continents: Europe and North America and operated as a mover and shaker in the male-dominated world of mid-century modern design.
Her achievements were many and encompassed industrial design, interior design and architecture. In 1933, having successfully completed her fellowship at the renowned Stockholm arts institution, Konstfack, she opened Studio, a combined store and workshop in Stockholm. During the same year, Greta M. Grossman married jazz musician, Billy Grossman with whom she later emigrated to the United States, settling in Los Angeles.
Upon their arrival in California in 1940, Grossman opened a well-publicized shop on Rodeo Drive, where she was among the first to bring the Scandinavian modern aesthetic to southern California’s burgeoning modernist scene. Her unique approach to Swedish modernism was an instant hit in Los Angeles and soon she attracted celebrity clients, including Greta Garbo, Ingrid Bergman, Joan Fontaine, Gracie Allen and Frank Sinatra and it was not long before she began appearing alongside the likes of Charles Eames and Isamu Noguchi.
While Grossman is the architect behind more than 15 homes spanning the globe from California to Sweden, she is most noted for her industrial designs where the Gräshoppa Floor Lamp and Cobra Table Lamp belong to the most famous works.
Through the 1940s and ’50s, Grossman exhibited her designs at museums worldwide, including MoMA in New York and The National Museum in Stockholm. Yet inexplicably, following her retirement in the late 1960’s Grossman’s name all but disappeared from the design landscape.