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1906 – 1999 (Sweden)
Greta Magnusson Grossman had an inspirational career that spanned 40 years and two continents, Europe and North America. She is famed for her work in furniture, textiles, lighting and ceramics, and her modernist designs attracted the attention of the 1940s Hollywood jet set.
Grossman’s career started in her home country of Sweden. After completing an apprenticeship in woodwork, Grossman trained at the renowned Stockholm arts institution, Konstfack (then known as Högre Konstindustriella Skolan). An excellent technical illustrator, Grossman focused her skills on furniture design. In 1933, she became the first women to receive an award for furniture design at the Stockholm Craft Association. During rest of the 1930s, Grossman established herself as a renowned Swedish designer.
In 1940, she brought her unique Swedish modernism to Los Angeles after moving to America with her husband, jazz musician Billy Grossman. Her shop in Beverley Hills sold her own designs, advertised on her business card as "Swedish modern furniture, rugs, lamps and other home furnishings." She became popular with many celebrity clients such as Greta Garbo, Joan Fontaine and Gracie Allen. These connections led to new and exciting projects including a groundbreaking line of lamps for the famous Barker Brothers furniture shop. This collection included the instantly recognizable Grasshopper Floor Lamp.
Grossman described her designs as bringing
"lightness, airiness and internal comfort."