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Lean and light style

February 07, 2009|David A. Keeps

Furnishings designed by Greta Magnusson Grossman (1906-99) often appeared in homes alongside the work of midcentury greats such as Charles and Ray Eames, but the Los Angeles-based Grossman never gained the same level of recognition as that of many of her contemporaries. Not until recently has her following grown, and with good reason.

Grossman's lamps were so widely copied that they have become a visual icon for midcentury style. Her walnut and iron desk, circa 1952 for Glenn of California, is an excellent example of her ability to make heavy materials appear weightless. The desktop seemingly floats on a diagonal dowel leg, supported only by a thin iron rod.

Here is a look at some of Grossman's designs -- more of which are posted in an expanded photo gallery at latimes.com/home.

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