Natasha Kroll was born in Moscow on 20 May 1914, and her family moved to Germany in 1922. Kroll attended the Reimann School in Berlin, where she specialised in display design. When the school moved to London in 1936, Kroll was appointed an assistant teacher. Early window display commissions included Rowntree"s department stores in Scarborough and York, but she was soon to win a prestigious post as display manager for Simpson (Piccadilly) Ltd. Simpsons had moved into their striking new premises, designed by Joseph Emberton, in 1935. Kroll"s display philosophy, rooted in European modernism, complemented the building and the ethos of the company chairmen at this time. Both Ashley Havinden and Laszlo Moholy-Nagy had received window display commissions and Kroll sought to extend this pioneering approach.
In 1956, Natsha Kroll joined the BBC and made a great impact in production design. As a member of Richard Levin"s design department, she had a particular ability to devise innovative settings for talks and factual programmes, which also had the effect of exposing viewers to contemporary design. Of particular note is the studio design she devised for Huw Weldon"s arts programme 'Monitor'. In 1966 Kroll was elected to the Faculty of Royal Designers for Industry and it was in this year that she left the BBC to work freelance, specialising in period dramas. She went on to gain several feature film credits as production designer including 'Macbeth' (1970), Ken Russell"s 'The Music Lovers' (1971), 'The Hireling' (1973), 'Age of Innocence' (1977), and as producer and production designer 'Absolution' (1979, released 1988) which starred Richard Burton.
Natasha Kroll lived in Putney. She died on 2 April 2004.
From the guide to the Natasha Kroll Archive, 1935-2004, (University of Brighton Design Archives)