The designer Richard Kelly is best known for his architectural lighting in masterpieces such as Mies van der Rohe’s Seagram Building (1958) and Louis Kahn’s Yale Center for British Art (1974). Long before that, Kelly had exhibited low-cost lamps of his own design at MoMA in the early 1940s and teamed up with architect and MoMA curator Philip Johnson to design this lamp in 1950, initially as a three-legged model for Johnson’s Glass House in New Canaan. Unfortunately, the design was unwieldy, and the lamp kept tipping over. Only a handful of the three-legged version were made for various Johnson residences, and in 1954 Johnson and Kelly added a fourth leg, which stabilized the design. The floor lamp then became a commercial success for the New York lighting factory Edison Price.
In 1958, Johnson gifted an example to his own institution in time for it to be included in MoMA’s first major survey and publication of its permanent collection. Another example is in the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.
Floor Lamp in brass and enamel on aluminum. Designed by Philip Johnson and Richard Kelly, USA, 1954-67. Manufactured by Edison Price Inc., New York.
28" L x 28" W x 44" H