Harriet Harriss 

Greta Magnusson Grossman

Lund Humphries, 2022

‘Magnusson Grossman is one of many women whose work is little known today but should be better known, for no other reason than the sheer quality of it.’
A Daily Dose of Architecture Books


Harriet Harriss, Naomi House


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 gives an overview of Grossman's background and education and the formative years of her career in Sweden, before describing her move to Los Angeles in 1940. 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 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 the genres to which she contributed, her discipline and the emerging canon of women designers — who are only now being recognised, whilst considering her enduring legacy upon the world of design today.

An adapted excerpt of the book  can be read at Places Journal.

ContentsForeword: Sturegatan to Sunset: Greta Magnusson Grossman and the Immigration of Style by Evan Snyderman;
Introduction: Towards a Gender-Critical Design History;
Chapter 1: Swedish Origins;
Chapter 2: A Well-Known Designer;
Chapter 3: Living in a Modern Way;
Chapter 4: Feminist Historiography: Reconstructing a Legacy;
Afterword: Archival Activism.