Electrifying Design: A Century of Lighting
July 2–September 26, 2021
Super Lamp, designed ca. 1978, made ca. 1980s, fiberglass, enamel, steel, rubber, and 40-watt incandescent bulbs, Martine Bedin, designer; Memphis Milano, manufacturer; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, museum purchase funded by the Design Council, 2020. © 1978 Martine Bedin.
Fragile Future 3.13, 2013, dandelion seeds, phosphorous bronze, LED bulbs, and Plexiglas, Lonneke Gordijn (Dutch, born 1980), designer; Ralph Nauta (Dutch, born Britain, 1978), designer; DRIFT, Dutch, established 2007, maker; High Museum of Art, Atlanta, purchase with funds from the Wish Foundation, the Decorative Arts Acquisition Endowment Fund, Sarah Kenan Kennedy, Roya and Bahman Irvani, and Sara and Paul N. Steinfeld, 2017.333. © DRIFT.
Since the invention of the first electric light in the 1800s to the development of ultraefficient lightbulbs in the twenty-first century, lighting technology has fascinated engineers, scientists, architects, and designers worldwide, inspiring them toward new creative expression.
The High will be the exclusive Southeast venue for this exhibition, the first large-scale show to consider electrical lighting over the past one hundred years as a catalyst for technological and artistic innovation within major avant-garde design movements.
The exhibition will feature nearly eighty rare lighting examples by leading international designers including Achille Castiglioni, Christian Dell, Greta Magnusson Grossman, Poul Henningsen, Ingo Maurer, Verner Panton, Gino Sarfatti, Ettore Sottsass, and Wilhelm Wagenfeld, among many others. The works on view will demonstrate how these innovators harnessed light’s radiance and beauty, resulting in designs that extend beyond or challenge the functional nature of lighting.
Electrifying Design: A Century of Lighting is organized by the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.
This exhibition is made possible by
Premier Exhibition Series Sponsor
Premier Exhibition Series Supporters
Sarah and Jim Kennedy
Dr. Joan H. Weens Estate
Benefactor Exhibition Series Supporters
Anne Cox Chambers Foundation
Robin and Hilton Howell
Ambassador Exhibition Supporters
The Antinori Foundation
Louise Sams and Jerome Grilhot
Elizabeth and Chris Willett
Contributing Exhibition Series Supporters
Farideh and Al Azadi
Sandra and Dan Baldwin
The Ron and Lisa Brill Family Charitable Trust
Lucinda W. Bunnen
Marcia and John Donnell
Helen C. Griffith
Mrs. Fay S. Howell/The Howell Fund
Mr. and Mrs. Baxter Jones
The Arthur R. and Ruth D. Lautz Charitable Foundation
Joel Knox and Joan Marmo
Margot and Danny McCaul
The Fred and Rita Richman Fund
Mrs. Harriet H. Warren
Generous support is also provided by
Alfred and Adele Davis Exhibition Endowment Fund, Anne Cox Chambers Exhibition Fund, Barbara Stewart Exhibition Fund, Dorothy Smith Hopkins Exhibition Endowment Fund, Eleanor McDonald Storza Exhibition Endowment Fund, The Fay and Barrett Howell Exhibition Fund, Forward Arts Foundation Exhibition Endowment Fund, Helen S. Lanier Endowment Fund, Isobel Anne Fraser–Nancy Fraser Parker Exhibition Endowment Fund, John H. and Wilhelmina D. Harland Exhibition Endowment Fund, Katherine Murphy Riley Special Exhibition Endowment Fund, Margaretta Taylor Exhibition Fund, and the RJR Nabisco Exhibition Endowment Fund.