Greta-Lisa Jäderholm-Snellman


Greta Lisa Jäderholm-Snellman was born in 1894 in Helsinki and passed away in 1973 in Alicante, Spain. She was one of the first female ceramists in Finland and worked in many different materials throughout her career.

Born to parents Herman Jäderholm and Hilma Nyberg, she matriculated from Nya Svenska Samskolan in 1912 and later studied at the University of Art and Design in Helsinki. Jäderholm-Snellman started her career in France in 1919 at the Atelier de Lachenal where she produced a series of turquoise Art Deco inspired ceramics.

In 1921 she moved back to Finland and began work at the ceramic factory Oy Arabia Ab’s factory in Helsinki. Jäderholm-Snellman is perhaps known for the period she spent at Arabia, renewing table settings and bringing in art influences from her time spent abroad in Europe. She both designed new homeware objects as well as the decoration style used on existing models. The style of the time used oriental and nature motives, strong colours and silvery etchings, as well as a craquelèe glaze. Jäderholm-Snellman also led the “Beautiful everyday goods” department that was established in 1929 to develop household items accessible to a broader audience.

In 1937 she moved to Paris together with her husband Eero Snellman to participate in and assist at the Paris World Fair. While there she worked for a couple of years at the Sèvres factory in France – producer of some of the finest porcelain in Europe. She simultaneously worked at the Riihimäki Lasi glass factory from 1937 to 1949 and at Oy Ahlström Ab’s Iittala glass factory from 1945 to 1962.

Jäderholm-Snellman held solo ceramic exhibitions at the Helsinki gallery Galerie Hörhammer in 1921, 1922 and 1925, at L’atelier 75 in Paris in 1933 and in the showroom of the Heal & Son department store in 1937. Most of the objects at the Heal exhibition were sold with some donated to the Victoria & Albert Museum. The exhibit at Studio Schrader in Copenhagen in 1949 displayed her glass designs and it is said to be a starting point for her successful work in that medium. She also worked with metal and wood at Taidetakomo Antti Hakkarainen and Veljekset Backman. It’s worth noting that Jäderholm-Snellman used her own initials GLJ on many of her designs, a practice not common among designers at that time.

”It is certainly difficult at times, namely to be an independent woman and the ’head’ of the family at the same time, and occasionally a factory girl, a mother and a wife. But as an artist himself, my husband understands. And I’m so terribly enthusiastic about my work!” Jäderholm-Snellman in an interview in 1929.

  • Greta Lisa Jäderholm-Snellman
  • 1894 – 1973
  • She made study trips to Sweden, England and France 1914–1932
  • Atelier de Lachenal in France 1919 to 1921
  • Oy Arabia Ab’s in Finland 1921 to 1937
  • Sèvres factory in France 1937 to 1939
  • Riihimäki Lasi Oy in Finland 1937 to 1949
  • Oy Ahlström Ab’s Iittala glass factory 1945 to 1962.
  • Taught porcelain painting at the School of Arts and Crafts 1929–1937
  • Member of the board of directors of the Cité Internationale des Arts à Paris 1958 to 1973
  • Member of the board of the Foundation of the City of Artists in Paris 1960 to 1973.
  • Worked as a freelance writer for several Finnish magazines and helped edit the Ornamo Yearbook of Decorative Art
  • Solo exhibitions at Galerie Hörhammer in 1921, 1922 and 1925, at L’atelier 75 in Paris in 1933, in the showroom of the Heal & Son department store in 1937 and at Studio Schrader in Copenhagen in 1949
  • Awarded at the Milan Triennale in 1933.
  • Married to the artist Eero Snellman, one daughter, painter Maria Christina Snellman.


Art Deco ja taiteet France–Finlande 1905–1935 by Hannele Nyman and Auli Suortti-Vuorio: ”Greta-Lisa Jäderholm-Snellman” pages 119–127. Suomalaisen Kirjallisuuden Seura, 2013

Published by Jonas

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

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