June 19–September 26
Lighting is a universal need that often blends technological advances with artistic innovations. As an artistic form,
lighting has often been cast in a supporting role, undervalued and subject to its domestic or commercial surroundings. Electrifying Design will reexamine lighting as a primary object—a catalyst of innovation and an agent of experience—as well as the key aspects that make it unique as a discipline. Focusing on the modern and contemporary eras, the exhibition will highlight lighting as a marker of its time that is often at the forefront of new design movements.
This constellation of ideas will bring focus to specific time periods—the interwar era in Europe and America, Italian Radical design, and global contemporary expressions—as well as key elements of the form, from the bulb as a symbol of the field to a focus on the evolution of the task-light form over time to sculptural interpretations of diffusing and reflecting the light source. Covering over a century of international lighting devices, key designers and firms, variant typologies (floor, table, pendant), and a plethora of graphic materials including advertisements, drawings, and trade catalogues, Electrifying Design is the first major American exhibition to explore this significant topic.
Exhibition catalogue available for purchase at the Museum Shop and at museumshop.high.org. Members receive 10% off Shop purchases.