Greta Magnusson Grossman: modern design from Sweden to California

Harriss, Harriet and House, Naomi ORCID logoORCID: (2021) Greta Magnusson Grossman: modern design from Sweden to California. Designing Interiors . Lund Humphries, London. ISBN 9781848223578. [Book]


Greta Magnusson Grossman (1906-1999) was a prolific designer working within the male-dominated world of mid-century modern design, whose status and influence has been largely ignored. Grossman was the ultimate polymath - an industrial designer, interior designer and architect working within two fascinating contexts: Scandinavia and North America. This book firstly details her background, education and the formative year of her career in Sweden, before describing how she and her husband, the British jazz musician and band-leader Billy Grossman, moved to Los Angeles in 1940. It then describes the studio they opened on Rodeo Drive and the creative, avant-garde LA community in which she operated. Her Swedish modernist approach to interior design 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. While she is remembered for her work as a product and lighting designer, her work as an interior designer has been almost entirely overlooked. This book catalogues and emphasises the significance of her contribution to the canon of interior design: making the connections between ideas she tested at the scale of the product within the interior environment. It positions her contribution to interior design in relation to the canon of (i) the genre(s) to which she contributed (ii) her discipline and (iii) the emerging canon of women designers - who are only now being recognised, whilst considering her enduring legacy upon the world of design today. Magnusson Grossman's most enduring work came in the form of her architecture and interior commissions. Grossman designed at least fourteen homes in Los Angeles; one in San Francisco and one back in her native Sweden. Of these, at least ten are still standing - all of which are featured in this book making both the visuals and the content of this book unique. The book finally explores her contemporary impact, including the relaunch of her lighting and furniture and her influence on today’s designers.

Item Type: Book
Research Areas: A. > School of Art and Design > Fashion and Interiors
Item ID: 27477
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Depositing User: Naomi House
Date Deposited: 03 Sep 2019 17:09
Last Modified: 21 Oct 2021 11:58

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