Greta Magnusson Grossman

Los Angeles, United States

Born in Helsingborg, Sweden in 1906, Greta Magnusson Grossman’s career spanned across architecture, interior design, and furniture design. In the 1920s, she completed a one-year woodworking apprenticeship in Helsingborg, and was awarded a scholarship to Stockholm’s esteemed Konstfack arts institution, where she studied furniture, textiles, and ceramics design. In 1933, she was awarded the second prize for furniture design by the Stockholm Craft Association, making her the first woman to receive an award in that category.

That same year, Grossman and Konstfack classmate Erik Ullrich opened Studio, a store and design workshop in Stockholm, and she married jazz bandleader Billy Grossman. In 1937, Grossman famously designed a crib for Sweden's Princess Birgitta for a group exhibition at Stockholm’s Nationalmuseum. In 1940, she and her husband immigrated to the U.S. and settled in Los Angeles, where she opened a Beverly Hills shop for her furniture, lighting, and home furnishings designs. Alongside her store, she also designed pieces for companies like Sherman Bertram, Modern Line, Barker Brothers, and Glenn of California.

Between 1949 and 1959, Grossman designed numerous homes in California, often collaborating with landscape architect Garrett Eckbo. Most had a footprint under 1500 square feet, and many stood on stilts overlooking majestic views. During the 1950s, Grossman taught industrial design at the Art Center School in Los Angeles and at the University of California, Los Angeles. In the late 1960s, Grossman retired from design and architecture.