lighting

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Image features a lamp composed of a curved, white translucent shade on a segmented stainless steel column with a white base. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
The Pipistrello Lamp
By the 1960s, it could be argued that lighting design had come of age. This was influenced by several factors—booming post-war economic growth, the emergence of a new youth market eager to challenge established ideas about modern style, and the continuing development of lighting technologies and new plastics that encouraged greater experimentation with form and...
Image features a black background with letter "S" outlined in blue, evoking a fluorescent light. A box of Orion light bulbs is in the foreground in the lower register of the poster, printed in blue, orange, and white. A light bulb hangs in the center of the upper register, with the word "Orion" printed across it, and printed in white and gold. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
An Elusive “S”
Apart from several months spent at Iparművészeti Iskola, Budapest’s school of applied arts, József Bottlik[1] was a self-taught graphic designer. Bottlik began his career in 1919 and quickly established himself as a designer of eye-catching commercial product and film posters, including a celebrated 1927 design for Universal Film AG (UFA) for the film Metropolis.[2] Bottlik...
Image features cover design of Majorelle trade catalogue. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
French Elegance
Authors: Stephen Van Dyk and Adrienne Meyer This early 20th century trade catalog in the Cooper Hewitt Library includes furniture, lighting, and decorative objects in the art nouveau style created by the French firm of Majorelle. Louis Majorelle (1859-1926), an important French furniture manufacturer, took over his father Auguste’s cabinet making workshop in Nancy in...
Image features a group five floor lamps in the shape of giant pills, each with a white top and a base in a different color: yellow, white, green, red, and blue. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Popping Pills
Revealing the importance between Pop Art and design, Cesare Casati and Emanuele Ponzio’s Pillola lamps designed in 1968, are representative of Italy’s anti-design movement of the mid-1960s and 1970s. Challenging notions of “good design,” the anti-design movement took its cues from Pop Art’s use of bright colors and banal subject matter. The Pillola lights culturally...
Image features a black desk lamp consisting of a small rectilinear bulb housing with reflector supported by two pairs of counter-weighted adjustable arms set on a swiveling cylindrical base with cooling slots and a red plastic on/off switch. Please scroll down the read the blog post about this object.
So Much Light Cast, So Little Space Used
In 1970, aeronautical engineer Ernesto Gismondi and architect Sergio Mazza, co-founders of the lighting manufacturer Artemide, asked industrial designer Richard Sapper to design a desk lamp. A year later Sapper presented them with the Tizio lamp, a product that met his own needs. “I wanted a work lamp with a wide range of movement, but...
Image features a car with bright headlights is shown driving across a bridge at night. Lights in the distance are reflected in the water. A light bulb is encircled in the upper right-hand corner, emphasizing the product the car is utilizing. At the bottom of the poster appears the brand name PHILIPS in large orange block letters with white dashes. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Illuminating the Road Ahead
When Louis C. Kalff was hired by Philips in 1925, the company was one of the largest producers of lightbulbs in the world. Kalff created a brand identity for the company, including the iconic logo. For this poster, Kalff illustrated a car whose piercing bright headlights illuminate the scene. The stylized arcs and angles reflect...
This image features two candelabra, featuring a standing female figure of patinated bronze supporting branched gilt-bronze candle arms, each arm in the form of a winged female figure; the branches are surmounted by a patinated putto/faun standing on a column and holding an urn-shaped bobeche; square gilt-bronze base with a scene of Europa and the bull; a patinated winged female term stands at each corner. The female figures stand on a gilt-bronze plinth. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Luxurious Lighting
Today’s Object of the Day is on view in Tablescapes: Designs for Dining (October 5, 2018–April 14, 2019). These two candelabra in the neoclassical style, with their detailed sculptural work and multiple candle branches, would have undoubtedly brought abundant golden light as well as a sense of luxury to any early 19th-century interior. They were...
Showing the Way: A New Light on Old Skills
One of the most wonderful mixtures of new technology-electricity-with elegant hand-crafted materials, in this case glass and metalwork, is this table lamp. It shines forth with the strength of electricity but uses soda glass to create a glow more associated with a pre-electrified era. William Arthur Benson, who was trained as an architect, took up...
It Starts With A Napkin
This is an early concept sketch for the lamp “I Ricchi Poveri – Silver Bzzzz” by the “poet of light” Ingo Maurer. The lamp is part of a small series through which Maurer has sought to play on the natural attraction to light in nature. In the design for “I Ricchi Poveri – Silver Bzzzz,”...