Greta Magnusson Grossman (1906-1999) combined Swedish and Californian modernist impulses to pioneer unexplored concepts in art and architecture. Her first shop, Studio, opened in Stockholm, Sweden, in 1933. With the help of her classmate, Erik Ullrich, Greta completed many high-profile commissions, notably including a crib for Princess Birgitta of Sweden. Further distinguishing her early years, Grossman became the first woman to receive a prize for furniture design from the Swedish Society of Industrial Design in 1933.
In 1940, Greta and her husband, jazz bandleader Billy Grossman, relocated to California where they opened Magnusson-Grossman Studio. Known for its sleek, functional, and compact designs, the studio became a favorite of such Hollywood elite as Joan Fontaine, Gracie Allen, and Greta Garbo. Grossman's genius also shone in her residential designs which she rendered in stone, steel, and rich woods, most often situated on scenic hillsides.
Throughout the 1950s and 60s, Grossman's work continued to receive wide acclaim, with her designs serving as muse to famed photographer Julius Shulman and editor John Entenza of Art & Architecture magazine. Grossman's MoMA Good Design for her Cobra Lamp only served to further bolster her design gravitas.
In more recent years, a renewed appreciation for Grossman's work spurred Danish design brand GUBI to reissue a selection of her most significant pieces, ranging from her famed Grasshopper Floor and Table Lamp series to her of-the-moment Modernline Sofa and Seating collection. The fact that each piece feels every bit as relevant today as it did over a half century ago stands as a true testament to Grossman's talent, skill and vision.