The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, the Liliane and David M. Stewart Collection, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Charles D. O’Kieffe, Jr., in memory of Mr. and Mrs. Charles DeWitt O’Kieffe, by exchange, D88.138.1
Philip Johnson teamed with lighting designer Richard Kelly to create this low floor lamp for his 1948 Glass House in New Canaan, Connecticut, which was a challenge to light because of the all reflections within the glass-walled structure. The shallow aluminum cone shade supported by delicate bronze legs shows the influence of Japanese design, which appealed to the minimal taste of modernists at midcentury.
A bronze canister limits the glare from the hidden bulb, which projects a beam of light into the white underside of the shade to deflect the light downward, creating a pool of indirect light. The production version of the lamp is four-legged for stability. An identical lamp remains in the Glass House.
The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, photo: Denis Farley.