Greta M. Grossman 1906-1999

Born and raised in Sweden, Greta Magnusson Grossman represents a literal link between European design and California modernism. In 1940, after already establishing herself as a renowned designer in Sweden, she and her husband, jazz bandleader Billy Grossman, immigrated to Los Angeles. Grossman's work was well known and in demand through the 1950s and '60s. Her work was photographed by Julius Shulman, she appeared frequently in John Entenza's Art & Architecture magazine and she received two prestigious Good Design Awards from MoMA, yet she faded into relative obscurity.

Recently, renewed interest in this pioneering modernist has resulted in some of her pieces being brought back into production. Often building her architectural works on spec and then living in them until she found a buyer, her residences were defined by their diminutive scale and lightness of form, frequently balanced perfectly on the edge of a hillside. Crafted in classic modern materials like steel and stone, Grossman also incorporated rich woods and natural light to create warmth. Unfortunately, many of these homes have since been demolished, though several do remain.

Greta M. Grossman

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