Marjatta Metsovaara

Marjatta Metsovaara-Van Havere (né Metsovaara (1927 – 2014) is especially known for her rugs and colourful printed fabrics , some of which are still in production.

Metsovaara was born into a multicultural family, and her father Aleksander had started a textile factory in Urjala in the 1930s. She attended The School of Arts, Design and Architecture in 1949, studied with other designers such as Maija Isola and Nanny Still, and then started Vennas Oy with Helin Vennas and Senja Laine-Ylijoki in Helsinki.

She expanded the family business in 1954, changing the name into Metsovaara Ltd and branching into woven textiles, wall tapestries and rugs as the company’s artistic director from 1957 until 1980. The first orders came from Artek, Asko, and Funktio. She also designed for other companies such as Finlayson and Valvilla (former Villayhtymä).

Metsovaara arranged many exhibitions both domestic and abroad, the first one at Artek in 1957, and received recognition and awards at many of them.
Metsovaara married twice, had four children, set up and ran a weaving company in Belgium from 1965 with her second husband Albert Van Haveren whom she married in 1966. Metsovaara sold both that company as well as the company that bore her name in 1980 and 1990. She moved to Nice in 1984 following the death of her husband.

Metsovaara designed the Flower and Shell patterns in the early 1960s and other assisted designs for the former textile company Tampella. She was especially interested in the colouring of the textiles and spent much time focusing on getting them right. Other mentionable patterns are Reed and Primavera, which has become a classic.

  • Marjatta Metsovaara
  • Born 1927, passed 2014
  • Arranged Expo exhibitions in 1963, 1966 and 1969 – the largest private exhibits in Finnish history at the time
  • Awarded at the Milan Triennale in 1957 and 1960
  • Lauréat de la Sélection Nationale de Design Industriel, Brussels in 1963
  • Ornamo Silver Ball in 1964
  • Signe d’Or Medal in Brussels, in 1968 and 1985
  • Received the Pro Finlandia medal in 1970
  • Woman of the Year 1977 in Finland

Photos from

Published by Jonas

Digital developer and a modern design connoisseur. I love my family, reading and chairs. In that order.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: