Author(s): Karianne Bjellas Gilje et al
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 J rn 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.
Karianne Bjellas Gilje is the head of programme at the Foundation for Design and Architecture in Norway. Thomas Flor is a curator and writer, Widar Halen is a director at the Norwegian National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design, Jan-Lauritz Opstad is the director of the Museum of Decorative Arts in Trondheim and Astrid Skjerven is a professor at Akershus University College.