Today we just got in a group of eight walnut “Good Design” chairs for Glenn of California and a “Cobra” Lamp both by Greta Magnusson Grossman. The enigmatic Greta Magnusson Grossman earned her prestige and influence in mid-century modernism through her innovative designs that fused Swedish minimalism with California cool. Though Grossman isn’t as recognized as some of her male contemporaries, such as Richard Neutra or Rudolph Schindler, Grossman’s work was often showcased in Arts & Architecture through the photographic lens of Julius Shulman who shot a number of her interiors and lamps.
Grossman produced a series of table lamps for the Ralph O. Smith Company. One of these iconic lamps was informally dubbed the “Cobra” lamp because its oval shade echoes that of a cobra’s hood. The lamp came in ten colors with a flexible gooseneck and the option to mount it on a wall. Its eye-appeal, function, construction and price earned it the “Good Design” award in 1950, a yearly competition that showcased “the best new design available on the American home furnishings market.” Later that year, it was exhibited at Good Design show at MoMA.
The chairs she designed for the Arcadia, California furniture company Glenn of California won her a second “Good Design” award in 1952. The “Good Design” chair is composed of California walnut wood, steel, formica and colorful textiles. The combination of man-made and natural materials embodied the essence of Southern California Design movement seen in the works of her contemporaries Milo Baughman, Kipp Stewart, and Charles and Ray Eames. However, her distinctive petite proportions set her work apart.
This group of eight “Good Design” chairs and “Cobra” lamp will be for sale in the October 2010 LAMA Auction.
For more information and photos of Greta Magnusson Grossman designs click here.
 “Good Design” Catalog 1952, Museum of Modern Art Archives, New York.