Like the houses she designed, Grossman’s 62 Series Desk (1952) is defined by its diminutive scale and lightness of form. With a wink toward the space-age aesthetic of the time, it is both playful and elegant – and because it looked to be 10 years ahead of its time when it was designed in 1952, Grossman named it for the future year of ’62. Fast-forward to today, and its timeless quality endures. With its mix of natural and man-made materials, the 62 Series Desk exemplifies how Grossman combined Scandinavian and Californian design influences. “Comfort was a prime consideration,” said Grossman of this design, “as well as functional character that comes from the elimination of the nonessentials.” Inside the cabinet are three drawers on soft-closing vacuum glides. Made in Denmark.
Solid walnut and black painted steel crossbar and legs; walnut veneer cabinet sides and drawers; high-gloss laminate tabletop and door; soft-closing drawer hardware.
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. Although 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 and Architecture magazine and she received two prestigious Good Design Awards from MoMA, she faded into relative obscurity. Recently, renewed interest in this pioneering modernist has resulted in some of her pieces being brought back into production.
Grossman opened her first store/workshop, called Studio, in Stockholm in 1933 with classmate Erik Ullrich. Here she took numerous commissions, including a crib for Sweden's Princess Birgitta, and she became the first woman to receive a prize for furniture design from the Swedish Society of Industrial Design. This success followed her to California, where she opened her second shop, Magnusson-Grossman Studio, on Rodeo Drive in 1940, which was popular with clients like Greta Garbo, Joan Fontaine and Gracie Allen. Grossman's compact, functional and visually lightweight modern aesthetic appealed to a previously ignored, but ever-growing demographic: single, savvy, career-minded women. Some of her pieces, like the Cobra Lamp, designed in 1950 for Ralph O. Smith (and recently brought back into production by Gubi) and her 1952 Desk with Storage for Glen of California, have become icons of California modern. Read more >