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Exceedingly Rare Greta Grossman Folding Chairs

$9,000per item

About

Exceedingly rare, sculpturally resonant Greta Grossman indoor/outdoor folding chairs, of painted tubular steel and cotton cord, produced in California circa 1949 either by Barker Brothers or Modern Color, Inc. The chaise and lounge versions of this chair appear in the Greta Grossman archives, and are documented with staged archival photographs as Barker Brothers productions circa 1947 in the book “Greta Magnusson Grossman—A Car and Some Shorts” in the chronology at the end; the present side or dining chair version is not included in the chronology, but is apparent in a John Hartley photograph of Grossman’s own house in 1956 in proximity to an outdoor dining table. It is logical that Grossman would possess an example of all the designs in the series. The outdoor lounge chair version subsequently appears in “Current Design” for Autumn 1950 curated by the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston. Modern Color, Inc of Los Angeles is listed as the producer and distributor. The 3/4 inch gauge of the tubular steel, the width of the chair, the “Greta Grossman green” color and the construction details all line up precisely with the present chairs, down to the welded projections that prevent the seat from sagging when sat in (see attached photos). Note that the same Barker Brothers archival photo is used by Modern Color. Modern Color probably failed in its efforts to market the chairs, perhaps sending a few prototypes around to museums or showrooms. More likely, the present chairs were made by Barker Brothers as part of whatever small production run occurred in Los Angeles in the late 1940s. The chairs have new cotton cord, following the original lines, but the green paint is spot-on original, with obvious wear (and character) associated with age and use. I am not aware of any other examples of this design turning up in any collection or on the market (nor of the lounge version), so this is an exciting opportunity for a collector, curator, or designer to add a hitherto unseen item from one of America’s most important midcentury designer/architects. There are two chairs available; they are priced individually.

Details

  • Creator
  • Dimensions
    Height: 33.5 in. (85.09 cm)Width: 21 in. (53.34 cm)Depth: 23 in. (58.42 cm)Seat Height: 18 in. (45.72 cm)
  • Style
    Mid-Century Modern (Of the Period)
  • Materials and Techniques
  • Place of Origin
  • Period
  • Date of Manufacture
    circa 1949
  • Condition
    Rewoven. Wear consistent with age and use. Minor losses. Fine structural condition. The “Grossman” green paint is original and shows patina and obvious wear associated with age and use. The cotton cord is new following original lines. See photos.
  • Seller Location
    New York, NY
  • Reference Number
    1stDibs: LU828512154023

Shipping & Returns

  • Shipping
    Ships From: New York, NY
  • Return Policy

    A return for this item may be initiated within 3 days of delivery.

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About the Designer

Greta Magnusson-Grossman

Designer and architect Greta Magnusson-Grossman first gained fame in her native Sweden, where she established her store and workshop and became the first woman to receive a prize for furniture design from the Swedish Society of Industrial Design. In 1940, she married jazz musician Billy Grossman and moved to Los Angeles.

Upon her arrival in Southern California, she opened the Magnusson-Grossman Studio on Rodeo Drive and rapidly became popular among the Hollywood elite, including Greta Garbo and Gracie Allen. In addition to creating iconic furniture and lighting — like the Grasshopper series for Barker Bros. or the Cobra lamp for Ralph O. Smith — Magnusson-Grossman designed 14 homes in the Los Angeles area inspired by the Case Study Houses.

Combining her Scandinavian roots with laid-back West Coast style, Magnusson-Grossman became a notable contributor to California modernism.

Find a range of vintage Greta Magnusson-Grossman table lamps, floor lamps and other furniture on 1stDibs.

About the Seller
4.8
Located in New York, NY
Recognized Seller
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Established in 1995
1stDibs seller since 2007
216 sales on 1stDibs
Typical response time: 1 hour
Associations
20th Century Specialists
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