February 26, 2019
Märta Måås-Fjetterström (1873-1941), a trained Swedish Textile artist was bit of a revolutionary - her life story and the subsequent establishment of the MMF Workshop is legendary amongst Textile collector’s world over. Today when a public institution or a Hollywood movie star wants something out of the ordinary to rest their eyes on, then the choice is often an MMF rug.
While employed as Director of a state-supported Textile Workshop in Malmo, she attempted to innovate on the established Swedish Design traditions of the time to include her interest in stylized patterns of the Orient, Swedish flora and fauna, and the light and colors of Scandinavian Summers. This did not go down well with the establishment and eventually led to her being fired from her job in 1911.
By 1919, she set-up her own studio in Båstad, there freed from aesthetic constraints, she developed her own signature blend of Scandinavian and Eastern design sensibilities which would come to define her work and that of the workshop going forward. Thirsty for knowledge and new influences, she traveled extensively to major cities such as Paris, London, Amsterdam, Chicago and New York, and movements like the Arts and Crafts too influenced her designs.
Swedish Flat Weave Rug #02544. Sweden ca. 1945. 11'5" x 6'8" (348 x 203 cm)
These innovative designs stood out in an era when tradition reigned, as well as the fact that few women were designing at the time. In that same year of 1919, women in Sweden were enfranchised to vote. She finally received public recognition with a major exhibition at Liljevalchs in 1934, followed by exhibitions at the British Museum, London in 1936, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York in 1939. Public and government support there on was not an issue.
Swedish Pile Rug #03403. Sweden ca. 1940. 11'8" x 8'9" (356 x 267 cm)
“She is a remarkable storyteller, (...) who finds her inspiration in legends and meadows, in the Orient and the North, in ancient beliefs and fresh green leaves, in the Bible and buildings, in everything that causes the imagination to bloom…” says Erik Wettergren, curator and later the Director of National Museum, Stockholm.
Swedish Wall Hanging "Skaftbladen" #22169. Sweden ca. 1934. 7'5" x 6'2" (226 x 188 cm)
The rugs and tapestries produced under her guidance, and thereafter by other resident artists who were equally famous such as Barbo Nilsson, Marianne Richter and Ann-Mari Forsberg with the signature AB MMF in the border, have become collectors’ items going for large sums of money at auctions dedicated to this famous Scandinavian design house.
At FJ Hakimian, we have been fascinated with this Textile Design House for decades and have acquired a large collection over time with the signature AB MMF initials. Come explore the world of MMF with us!
Swedish Flat Weave Rug "BRIGHT RUG" #02746. Sweden ca. 1941. 11'7" x 8'5" (353 x 257 cm)
Swedish Flat Weave Rug #02732. Sweden ca. 1942. 11'5" x 8'4" (348 x 254 cm)
Swedish Wall Hanging "The Rye" #02826. Sweden ca. 1942. 8'4" x 4'11" (254 x 150 cm)
Swedish Wall Hanging "DAGGKÅPAN MED RÖTT" #22156. Sweden. 6'0" x 3'10" (183 x 117 cm)