Bruno Mathsson (1907 – 1988) Swedish Designer & Architect

Dutch Grasshopper Lounge Chair, Sweden, 1974 by Bruno Mathsson
Dutch Grasshopper Lounge Chair, Sweden, 1974 by Bruno Mathsson

Bruno Mathsson was a Swedish architect and furniture designer whose ideas were influenced by functionalism, modernism, and old Swedish craft traditions.

Biography

Mathsson grew up in the town of Värnamo in Sweden’s Smland region, the son of a master cabinet maker. After a brief period of schooling, he began working in his father’s gallery. He quickly developed a strong interest in furniture, particularly chairs, their function and their design. In the 1920s and 1930s, he invented a method for making bentwood chairs out of hemp webbing. In 1931, the first model, known as the Grasshopper, was used at Värnamo Hospital.

Mathsson’s chairs were collected by Edgar Kaufmann Jr., director of the Industrial Design Department at the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA), and featured in several exhibitions in the 1940s. Kaufmann regarded Mathsson’s contribution to furniture design as equal to that of Alvar Aalto. At Fallingwater, Kaufmann and his family also had a Mathsson chair.

Architecture

Mathsson was also a skilled architect, having completed approximately 100 structures in the 1940s and 1950s. He was Sweden’s first architect to create all-glass structures with heated floors. His furniture showroom in Värnamo (1950) was a notable example; it has been well-preserved and is open to the public today. He created “Bruno-Pane” double- and triple-pane insulated glass units for his glasshouses.

He travelled extensively in the United States and was heavily influenced by George Fred Keck’s solar houses. Mathsson’s architecture was also influenced by Charles and Ray Eames’ visit to the Eames House in March 1949, just as it was being completed.

Sources

Wikipedia contributors. (2021, July 31). Bruno Mathsson. In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 20:31, October 13, 2021, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Bruno_Mathsson&oldid=1036346611

You may also be interested in

  • Ingeborg Lundin (1921 – 1991) Swedish Glassware Designer

    Vase-sculpture ‘The Apple’ Designed by Ingeborg Lundin for Orrefors

    Ingeborg Lundin (1921 – 1991) was a Swedish Glassware Designer. Between 1941 – 1946 she studied at Konstaackskolan and Tekniska Skolan, Stockholm.Read More →

  • Stig Lindberg (1916 – 1982) – Swedish Ceramic, Designer, Painter

    Stig Lindberg featured image

    Stig Lindberg (1916 – 1982) was a Swedish ceramic, glass, textile, industrial designer, and painter and illustrator. During his long career with the Gustavsberg pottery factory, Lindberg produced whimsical studio ceramics and graceful tableware lines, making him one of Sweden’s most important postwar designers. Read More →

  • Anders B. Liljefors (1923 – 1970) Swedish Ceramicist

    Anders Liljefors was a Swedish ceramicist. He initially concerned himself with household ware, discovered a new method of casting ceramics in a sand mould, and worked feverishly to extract new and unexpected effects from this material during the later years of his life.Read More →

  • Ola Wihlborg Swedish industrial and product designer

    Ola Wihlborg iKea

    He took his first steps towards his career as a designer at Beckmans College of Design in Stockholm, Sweden, where he studied furniture and product design. After graduating in 2004, he began working as a freelance designer.Read More →

  • Sven Markelius (1889 – 1972) – Swedish Architect, Textile Designer

    Sven Markelius Chairs

    Sven Markeilus (1889- 1972) was a Swedish Architect, Town Planner and textile designer born in Stockholm. He taught in Stockholm and at Yale University. In the 1950s, Markelius designed simple wooden furniture and printed fabrics with Astrid Sampe, produced by Nordiska in Stockholm.Read More →

  • Louis Sparre (1866 – 1964) Swedish furniture designer

    A pair of chairs designed by Louis Sparre

    He was born in Gravellona Lomellina, Italy. He was the son of Pehr Ambjörn Sparre af Söfdeborg (1828–1921) and Teresita Adèle Josefa Gaetana Barbavara (1844–1867). His father had served as head of the banknote printing company for the Sveriges Riksbank. He spent his early childhood with his mother at Villa Teresita in Gravellona while his father was often on business trips.Read More →

  • Julius Olaf Randahl (1880 – 1972) Swedish silversmith

    Juliuys Olaf Randall

    In 1901, he moved to New York and worked for Tiffany and Gorham Manufacturing. In 1907, he worked at the Kalo Shop in Chicago before opening his own Randahl Shop in Park Ridge, Illinois, in 1911.Read More →

  • Vicke Lindstrand (1904- 1983) Swedish glassware designer

    Vicke Lindstrand featured image

    He worked at Kariskrona Porslinsfabrik from 1935 to 1936; at Upsala-Ekeby from 1936 to 1950 (as art director from 1943 to 1950) Kosta Boda glassworks from 1950 to 1973, where he was design director while also maintaining his studio in Arhus. Often, his free-form work was engraved.Read More →

  • Sigurd Persson (1914 – 2003) Swedish metalworker & glassware designer

    Sigurd Persson swedish designer featured image

    Sigurd Persson (1914–2003) was a Swedish sculptor, blacksmith, and professor who is regarded as one of the twentieth century’s most influential Swedish designers. Growing up in a goldsmith family, Persson founded his studio in Stockholm in 1942. Throughout his long career, he crafted objects in various materials ranging from metal to glass to plastic. Read More →

  • Carl-Gustaf Jahnsson (1935 – 1994) Swedish silversmith and designer

    Carl-Gustaf Jahnsson featured image

    Designer of iKea Dragon Cultery Carl-Gustaf Hallberg Jahnsson (1935-1994) was a Swedish silversmith and designer.Read More →

  • Bruno Mathsson (1907 – 1988) Swedish Designer & Architect

    Bruno Mathsson Swedish Designer & Architect

    Mathsson grew up in the town of Värnamo in Sweden’s Smland region, the son of a master cabinet maker. After a brief period of schooling, he began working in his father’s gallery.Read More →

  • Hertha Hillfon Swedish Ceramicist

    Hertha Hillfon a child's head

    Several exhibitions followed this in and outside Sweden, most recently Prins Eugens Waldemarsudde in 2008. She was awarded the Lunning Prize in 1962. In 1971, she became a member of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts.Read More →

  • Praktika Tableware (1933) designed by Wilhelm Käge

    Praktika Tableware

    Praktika Tableware (1933) designed by Wilhelm Käge. White earthenware stacking dishes, oval with rounded sides.Read More →

  • Kurt Versen (1901 – 1997) Swedish lighting designer

    Kurt Versen Table Lamp

    In the 1940s and 1950s, executed many assignments from architects for flexible lighting appropriate to Modern interiors.Read More →

  • Sofa, Borge Mogensen, 1945

    Børge Mogensen Spoke Back Sofa 1945, Fabric 1963

    This sofa’s straightforward execution and regular silhouette reflect characteristics that were considered essential for advanced design at the time. Nonetheless, the turned spindles, stretchers, and exquisite details owe a lot to Borge Mogensen’s use of the lexicon of traditional furniture forms—especially American Shaker and English Windsor—in his wRead More →

  • A & E Design a Swedish Design Consultancy

    A & E Design a Swedish design consultancy was founded in Stockholm by Tom Ahlström and Hans Ehrich (1942–). They worked in Italy earlier in the 1960s. The company has gained a reputation for functional, durable and ergonomically sound everyday products.Read More →

  • Group of Ten (est. 1970) design collective promoting creative individuality

    Group of Ten Swedish design collective

    Because its members had previous careers in the textile industry, they wanted to be free to promote their creative ideas. Read More →

  • Sydney Opera House – Design Classic

    Pritzker Prize winner Sydney Opera House

    The design of the Sydney Opera House (1956-73), which he won in an international competition, was Utzon’s crowning achievement. He envisioned a solid sculptural building made of a series of giant interlocking billowing white ‘sails’ inspired by the ships of Sydney Harbour.Read More →

  • Simon Gate (1883 – 1945) Swedish artisan and designer

    Simon Gate featured image

    Gate began his long affiliation with the Swedish glassmaking firm Orrefors in 1916. He worked as an artistic director and built the firm foundation for Sweden’sSweden’s substantial modern glass industry, alongside Edvard Hald, Vicke Lindstrand, Knut Bergqvist, and others.Read More →

  • IKEA Dragon 20-Piece Flatware Set, Stainless Steel

    iKea Dragon flatware featured image

    IKEA Dragon 20-Piece Flatware Set, Stainless Steel designed by Carl-Gustaf Jahnsson DRAGON flatware has beenRead More →

❤️ Receive our newsletter

Comments are closed, but trackbacks and pingbacks are open.