Kittelsen, Grete Prytz (1917—)

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Kittelsen, Grete Prytz (1917—)

Norwegian artist who specialized in enamel hollow-ware and jewelry in silver and stainless steel. Name variations: Grete Korsmo. Born Grete Prytz on June 28, 1917, in Oslo, Norway; daughter of Jacob Prytz (a goldsmith); trained at the Norwegian State School of Arts and Crafts and the Institute of Design, Chicago; married Arne Korsmo; remarried.

Grete Prytz Kittelsen trained at the Norwegian State School of Arts and Crafts and the Institute of Design, Chicago, as the recipient of a Fulbright scholarship. She followed her father, Jacob Prytz, into the leading Oslo firm of goldsmiths, J. Tostrup, in 1945. While working at Tostrup's workshop, she pioneered new methods of decorating silver with enamel, collaborating with the Central Institute for Industrial Research in the production of colored enamel. From the mid-1950s, she was a design consultant with her husband Arne Korsmo for the Cathrineholm firm in Halden, which collaborated with the Hadeland Glass Factory in the production of stainless-steel articles with transparent enamel, unique at that time. Her innovative techniques also resulted in serially produced jewelry of great novelty and artistry. She has stated that the play of light observed in her "glass house," the home designed for her by Arne Korsmo, has been the inspiration for many of her pieces.

Over several decades, Kittelsen's work was exhibited in Scandinavian and European countries and in the United States and Canada. She was an invited participant at the 1958 Biennale in Venice and exhibited at the World Fair in Brussels in the same year, in Paris in 1958, at George Jensen, New York in 1964, and the Montreal World Fair in 1967.

She was the recipient of many awards: the Lunning Prize (1952); the Grand Prix at the Milan Triennale (1954); gold medals at the same exhibition (1957 and 1961); a gold medal at the Munich Applied Art Fair (1960); and the Jacob Prize from the Norwegian Society of Arts and Crafts (1972). Kittelsen was also active on behalf of the applied arts. She became a member of the Advisory Board of the World Crafts Council in 1968 and from 1975 to 1978 was president of the Norwegian Society of Arts and Crafts.


Aschehoug & Gyldendal. Store Norske Leksikon (Greater Norwegian Encyclopedia). Oslo: Kunnskapsforlaget, 1992.

Opstad, Jan-Lauritz. "Grete Prytz Kittelsen," in Navn i norsk brukskunst nr. 3 (Names in Norwegian Applied Art, no. 3). English translation by Ruth Waaler. Oslo: Kunstindus-trimuseet i, 1978.

Elizabeth Rokkan , translator, formerly Associate Professor, Department of English, University of Bergen, Norway