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Grete Prytz Kittelsen’s works are already design icons and popular collectors’ items. This book situates her in the forefront of artist/craftspeople of the twentieth century.

Grete Prytz Kittelsen (1917–2010) is regarded as "the queen of Scandinavian design." Her sphere of influence in the history of decorative art and design stretches from the Scandinavian Design period, 1945–65, to today. This book is the first comprehensive presentation of her work. An artist with an exceptionally broad scope, she designed jewelry and one-of-a-kind silver articles for her family’s long-established Oslo firm, J. Tostrup, as well as beautiful utilitarian items in enameled steel and cast iron that found their way into thousands of homes worldwide—in Scandinavia, the United States, and worldwide.

For half a century Grete Prytz Kittelsen was, along with her first husband, architect Arne Korsmo, part of the community of modernist architects and designers that included Ray and Charles Eames, Walter Gropius, Frank Lloyd Wright, and Mies van der Rohe. Among her European collaborators and friends were Lis and Jorn Utzon, Alvar Aalto, and Paolo Venini. Yet her work is less familiar to the general public than the work of her Swedish, Danish, and Finnish colleagues: this book presents it to new generations and highlights her role as a central player in the history of Scandinavian design in the twentieth century.

In these pages the range of her oeuvre is displayed in brilliant color, with archival material and more than five hundred new photographs that document her stature as a hollowware designer, whose production—several hundred unique items, including bowls, dishes, plates, casseroles, and vases—was more extensive than that of any other Norwegian postwar designer, and as a jewelry artist, who produced a large and innovative range of pieces challenging the view of jewelry as mere decoration in the era of modernism. 

The accompanying text features contributions by leading Norwegian design scholars, describing Grete Prytz Kittelsen’s professional career in the context of midcentury design, the many national and international exhibitions she participated in, and the collections for which she received the Grand Prix at the Milan Triennale in 1954, among other awards. Collectors and historians alike will value the biographical chronology and especially the illustrated catalogue of works.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780393733310
Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date: 05/28/2012
Pages: 288
Product dimensions: 9.60(w) x 10.50(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Karianne Bjellas Gilje is the head of program at the Foundation for Design and Architecture in Norway.

Thomas Flor is a curator and writer.

Widar Halén is the director of design and decorative arts at the National Museum of Art, Architecture, and Design.

Jan-Lauritz Opstad is the director of the Museum of Decorative Arts in Trondheim.

Astrid Skjerven is a professor in the Department of Product Design at Akershus University College.

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