Grete Prytz Kittelsen

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Grete Prytz Kittelsen (born Margrethe Adelgunde Prytz) (28 June 1917, Oslo - 25 September 2010, Oslo), was a Norwegian goldsmith, enamel artist, and designer. She is one of the most well-known Norwegians in the Scandinavian Design movement,[1] and has been referred to as the "Queen of Scandinavian Design".[2]

Early life[edit]

Kittelsen was born in 1917 in Kristiania to Ingerid Juel and Jakob Tostrup Prytz, who was a goldsmith, and rector of the Norwegian National Academy of Craft and Art Industry.[3] Prytz' and Juel's residence was often home to students and foreign lecturers of the academy, among them Alvar Aalto. After receiving examen artium in 1935, Kittelsen began studying goldsmithing at the Norwegian National Academy of Craft and Art Industry. She received her diploma in 1941, after which she worked for J Tostrup, a goldsmithing firm run by the Tostrup family for four generations.[1] In April 1945 she married Arne Korsmo, architect and professor at the Norwegian Institute of Technology.[4] They divorced after 15 years.[3]

Post-war years[edit]

Kittelsen designed numerous works of silver, vitreous enamel and plastic, sometimes collaborating with her husband, Arne Korsmo. Kittelsen pioneered the use of large-scale manufacturing methods utilized by later industrial designers.[1] As recipient of a Fulbright grant, Kittelsen lived in the United States in 1949 and 1950, where she studied at the IIT Institute of Design.[1]

As one of the leading artists of the Scandinavian Design movement, Kittelsen received several awards and honors in the 1950s, including the Lunning Prize in 1952, and the 1954 Grand Prix at the Triennale in Milan for her enamel collection. From 1954 to 57 she participated in the "Design in Scandinavia" exhibition, shown in several places in the United States and Canada.[2] Near the end of the 50s, her products, manufactured by Hadeland Glassverk and Cathrineholm, were commonly found in Norwegian homes.[1] "Sensasjonskasserollen" (lit. The sensation casserole) was particularly successful, with 150,000 units sold in 1964.[5] Her designs were often inspired by American art, characterized by clear, plain colors and simple shapes.[2] Kittelsen also designed informal, inexpensive jewellery made from silver and vitreous enamel.[1]

Kittelsen was made a Knight, First Class, of the Royal Norwegian Order of St. Olav in 1986.[1] In 2008 she was honored with a large exhibition in the National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design, showcasing 360 of her works, accompanied by a book, Grete Prytz Kittelsen: Emalje og design, published by Gyldendal.[2] She was awarded the Prince Eugen Medal the same year.[6]

Grete Prytz Kittelsen died at age 93 in Oslo 25 September 2010.[7]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Skjerven, Astrid. "Grete Prytz Kittelsen" (in Norwegian). Norsk biografisk leksikon. Retrieved 13 January 2010.
  2. ^ a b c d Sandberg, Lotte (2008-05-19). "Kresen emaljemester" (in Norwegian). Aftenposten. Retrieved 14 January 2010.
  3. ^ a b Indahl, Aage. "Jakob Tostrup" (in Norwegian). Norsk biografisk leksikon. Archived from the original on 6 October 2011. Retrieved 13 January 2010.
  4. ^ Skjerven, Astrid. "Arne Korsmo" (in Norwegian). Norsk biografisk leksikon. Retrieved 13 January 2010.
  5. ^ Krogvig Karlsen, Ragnhild; Alexander Fredriksen (2008-11-05). "Kongelig heder til Prytz Kittelsen" (in Norwegian). NRK. Retrieved 14 January 2010.
  6. ^ "Medaljförläningar – Prins Eugen-medaljen". Swedish Royal Court. Retrieved 20 February 2017.
  7. ^ "Grete Prytz Kittelsen er død" (in Norwegian). VG. Retrieved 27 September 2010.