Marianne Richter Rugs and Carpets – Until recently, Marianne Richter (1916-2010) was part of a core group of creative innovators that led a new wave of mid-century design emerging from Scandinavia. Marianne Richter was part of the foundation that made the Konstfack one of the best textile schools; she was part of the community that made Marta Maas-Fjetterstrom AB so successful; and she was behind the pop art look of the shaggy ryas that covered floors and plenty of other surfaces in the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s.
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Like today’s mainstream designers, Richter’s work covered all aspects of the creative and commercial economy. She produced privately commissioned tapestries for Swedish embassies as well as one monumental work for the Manhattan U.N. building, which was tragically destroyed. However, she also developed designs for accessible floor coverings that everyday consumers seeking high-end style could afford.
Marianne Richter’s patterns were used to create tapestries, pile carpets, flat-weave kilims and vibrant ryas that were all the rage. Early in her career, she worked with local handcraft societies in central Sweden and taught at the prestigious Konstfack alongside Barbro Nilsson. Shortly after Nilsson became the artistic director of the Marta Maas-Fjetterstrom atelier, Richter was recruited to the firm. By 1949, Richter was a leading designer and a senior lecturer in the Konstfack’s textile department.
In addition to her work at the MMF atelier in Bastad, Richter produced a dazzling collection of 35 original rya patterns that were constructed in saturated jewel-tone colorways until the producing factory shut down in 1972. Richter’s great love of color and appreciation for contemporary art by Picasso, Paul Klee and other giants is evident in her distinctive contemporary designs. However, it’s her expressive style, regional inspiration and nostalgic references that make her creations synonymous with modern Scandinavian design.