2019 celebrates the centenary of the founding by Märta Måås-Fjetterström of her eponymous company ‘MMF’, in Båstad, Sweden. One of the most influential Nordic textile artists of the 20th century, the studio’s laboriously hand-crafted output of rugs, carpets and wall hangings are today highly sought-after by collectors and private clients for their homes, alongside works by her artistic successors at the studio, which still operates from the same premises. Over the following pages we bring together a glimpse of the creativity shown by Märta Måås-Fjetterström and the artistic designers who followed her through the 20th century, Barbro Nilsson and Marianne Richter.
Märta's work was widely exhibited and acclaimed, including at the 1925 Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et industriels Modernes in Paris, in 1929 at the Metropolitan Museum in New York, in London in 1931 and Chicago in 1933. A prolific designer – she left some 700 designs – rugs and carpets from MMF used a number of techniques, including flat-weave (such as lots 156, 157, 158, 161, 164, 168 and 171) and also knotted pile (lot 169), as well as examples which utilised both methods in the same work to emphasise a relief effect (lot 165). After her death in 1941 the firm was saved from being sold to overseas industrial producers by becoming a limited company, and all rugs and carpets from 1942 were marked AB MMF. Barbro Nilsson was appointed Managing Director and Marianne Richter also joined the studio as a designer the same year. Whilst the studio carried on producing Marta’s earlier designs, they also created new designs, all of which were made on a loom, only by hand, and today the firm continues to produce works to this time honoured method. Period examples are increasingly prized as works of artisanal virtuosity, representative of a perfect harmony between design, material and craft.