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The Definitive Guide to Mid-Century Modern Lighting Fixtures

This is our extensive glossary of mid-century modern lighting fixtures, including definitions of shapes, colors, designs, and famous designers and designs.

  1. Sputnik Chandelier: A futuristic and iconic mid-century modern lighting fixture, inspired by the Soviet Sputnik satellite. It features multiple arms with protruding bulbs, creating a striking and celestial-like appearance. The Sputnik chandelier became synonymous with the Space Age and remains a popular design choice for adding a dramatic touch to modern interiors.

  2. Nelson Bubble Lamp: Designed by George Nelson in the 1950s, the Nelson Bubble Lamp is a series of pendant lights featuring a delicate, translucent, and spherical shape. The lamps are made from a durable polymer material, and their soft, diffused light creates a warm and inviting ambiance.

  3. Arco Floor Lamp: Designed by Achille and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni in 1962, the Arco floor lamp is an iconic modernist fixture. It features a large, arching arm with a polished metal shade, suspended from a marble base. The Arco lamp is celebrated for its blend of form and function, providing direct illumination without the need for ceiling fixtures.

  4. Eames Pendant Lamp: Inspired by the innovative design principles of Charles and Ray Eames, Eames pendant lamps are characterized by their sleek, minimalist forms and use of materials like molded plywood, aluminum, and fabric. The Eames' dedication to functional and elegant design is evident in these timeless lighting fixtures.

  5. Atomic Sputnik Pendant: A pendant light inspired by the Atomic Age and Sputnik design trends, featuring a central globe surrounded by radiating arms with bulbs. The Atomic Sputnik pendant exemplifies the exuberance and fascination with space exploration during the mid-century era.

  6. Tulip Floor Lamp: The Tulip floor lamp, designed by Eero Saarinen in 1957, is part of his iconic Tulip collection. The lamp's slender stem and tulip-shaped shade reflect Saarinen's affinity for organic and modern design. It complements various interior styles, adding an elegant and sculptural element.

  7. Poul Henningsen Artichoke Lamp: Designed by Poul Henningsen in 1958, the Artichoke lamp is a masterpiece of Danish design. Its layered leaves made from metal create a unique play of light and shadow, providing a soft, diffused illumination. The Artichoke lamp is a striking statement piece for modern interiors.

  8. Triennale Floor Lamp: The Triennale floor lamp, designed by Angelo Lelli in 1951, is an iconic Italian design. It features three adjustable arms with cone-shaped shades, offering versatility and directional lighting. The lamp is celebrated for its sleek lines and functional elegance.

  9. FLOS Arco Lamp: A reimagined version of the Arco floor lamp by FLOS, the contemporary design maintains the original's arching arm and marble base but incorporates modern materials and lighting technology. The FLOS Arco lamp is a sought-after fixture for its timeless appeal and high-quality craftsmanship.

  10. Danish Pendant Lamp: Danish pendant lamps are renowned for their minimalist and functional designs. Crafted from materials like teak, brass, or aluminum, they often feature sleek, geometric shapes and provide warm, cozy illumination.

  11. PH Artichoke Lamp: Another masterpiece by Poul Henningsen, the PH Artichoke lamp is a pendant light featuring multiple metal leaves forming an artichoke-like shape. It disperses light evenly and decoratively, making it a captivating centerpiece in any mid-century modern space.

  12. FLOS Snoopy Table Lamp: Designed by Achille and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni in 1967, the FLOS Snoopy table lamp is characterized by its playful design. The lampshade resembles the cartoon character Snoopy's nose, while the marble base provides stability and visual contrast.

  13. Globe Pendant Lamp: A classic mid-century modern pendant lamp characterized by its spherical shape. The globe pendant lamp comes in various materials like glass, metal, or acrylic, and its soft, diffused light adds a timeless touch to interior spaces.

  14. Verner Panton Flowerpot Lamp: Designed by Verner Panton in 1968, the Flowerpot lamp features two half-spherical shades facing each other, creating a harmonious and stylish silhouette. The playful and vibrant colors of the lamp capture the spirit of the 1960s.

  15. Noguchi Akari Lamp: Created by Isamu Noguchi, the Akari lamp collection features elegant, sculptural pendant lights made from washi paper and bamboo ribbing. The Akari lamps embody a delicate balance between traditional craftsmanship and modern design.

  16. Fiberglass Cone Pendant: A pendant light with a conical-shaped shade made from fiberglass. The fiberglass cone pendant was a popular choice for mid-century modern interiors due to its lightweight and versatile design.

  17. Serge Mouille Three-Arm Ceiling Lamp: Designed by Serge Mouille in the 1950s, this iconic ceiling lamp features three adjustable arms with unique, slender shades. The lamp's organic and sculptural form exemplifies the elegance of French mid-century modern design.

  18. Panton Spiral Lamp: Another iconic design by Verner Panton, the Spiral lamp features a spiral-shaped shade crafted from aluminum. Its innovative form and use of materials reflect Panton's bold and experimental approach to lighting design.

  19. Globe Wall Sconce: A mid-century modern wall sconce with a globe-shaped glass shade. The globe wall sconce provides soft, diffuse lighting and was a popular choice for hallways, entryways, and bedrooms during the mid-century era.

  20. Cubo Pendant Lamp: The Cubo pendant lamp is characterized by its cube-shaped shade, providing a modern and geometric aesthetic. The clean lines and simplicity of the design align with the mid-century modern principles of form following function.

  21. PH5 Pendant Lamp: Another ingenious design by Poul Henningsen, the PH5 pendant lamp features multiple shades and reflectors that disperse light evenly and prevent glare. The lamp's innovative design showcases Henningsen's dedication to creating both functional and visually striking lighting fixtures.

  22. Jean Prouvé Potence Lamp: Designed by Jean Prouvé in the 1950s, the Potence lamp is a wall-mounted swing-arm lamp. Its utilitarian and industrial-inspired design makes it a classic and versatile lighting solution for mid-century modern interiors.

  23. Wegner CH24 Wishbone Lamp: A pendant lamp designed by Hans J. Wegner, the Wishbone lamp features a distinctive wishbone-shaped wooden frame. Its natural and organic form exemplifies Wegner's dedication to crafting functional and sculptural pieces.

  24. Angelo Lelli Triennale Floor Lamp: As the original designer of the Triennale floor lamp, Angelo Lelli's work exemplified the streamlined and modern aesthetic of Italian mid-century modern design. His lamp's timeless appeal is still celebrated today.

  25. George Nelson Cigar Bubble Lamp: Another iconic design by George Nelson, the Cigar Bubble lamp is a pendant light with a long, cylindrical shade made from a lightweight polymer material. Its clean lines and minimalist design are emblematic of mid-century modern lighting fixtures.

  26. Pierre Guariche Delta Lamp: Designed by Pierre Guariche, the Delta lamp features an innovative triangular shade and slender metal frame. Guariche's forward-thinking approach to lighting design and use of geometric shapes make the Delta lamp a standout fixture.

  27. Alvar Aalto A110 Pendant: Created by Alvar Aalto in 1952, the A110 pendant lamp features a bell-shaped shade made from hand-spun steel. Aalto's lamp exemplifies Finnish mid-century modern design, blending functionality with timeless aesthetics.

  28. Louis Poulsen PH 3/2 Table Lamp: A table lamp from the PH series by Poul Henningsen, the PH 3/2 lamp features multiple concentric shades to create soft, glare-free illumination. Henningsen's ingenuity and dedication to craftsmanship are evident in this design.

  29. Ivanhoe Sinclair Porcelain Pendant: The Ivanhoe Sinclair pendant lamp, crafted from porcelain, features a classic industrial-style shade. The simple and utilitarian design was a popular choice for mid-century modern interiors.

  30. Hans-Agne Jakobsson Chandelier: Hans-Agne Jakobsson, a Swedish designer, crafted elegant and luxurious chandeliers during the mid-century era. His designs often incorporated glass or crystal elements, showcasing the sophisticated craftsmanship of Scandinavian mid-century modern lighting.

  31. Serge Mouille Six-Arm Ceiling Lamp: The six-arm ceiling lamp designed by Serge Mouille features adjustable arms and shades that provide both direct and indirect lighting. The sculptural silhouette and precision engineering of Mouille's lamps are celebrated examples of French mid-century modern design.

  32. Isamu Noguchi Akari Lantern: Isamu Noguchi's Akari lanterns feature handmade washi paper shades and bamboo ribbing, reflecting the designer's interest in traditional Japanese craftmanship. Noguchi's lanterns are not only lighting fixtures but also works of art, bringing a sense of warmth and tranquility to any space.

  33. Arne Jacobsen AJ Lamp: The AJ lamp, designed by Arne Jacobsen, features a conical shade with a distinctive curved arm and base. Jacobsen's functional and sleek design approach is apparent in the AJ lamp's timeless form.

  34. Paavo Tynell Pendant Lamp: Paavo Tynell was a Finnish designer known for his elegant and organic lighting fixtures. His pendant lamps often featured perforated brass shades and delicate details, reflecting the artistry and craftsmanship of mid-century modern lighting.

  35. Guillermo Ulrich Ceiling Lamp: Guillermo Ulrich, an Argentine designer, created a series of pendant lamps with unique sculptural shades, often resembling flowers or biomorphic shapes. Ulrich's lamps added a touch of artistic expression to mid-century modern interiors.

  36. George Nelson Lantern Lamp: Another George Nelson design, the Lantern lamp, features a whimsical shade that resembles a paper lantern. The Lantern lamp's playful and sculptural design is characteristic of Nelson's innovative and imaginative approach to lighting.

  37. Jean Prouvé Potence Wall Lamp: A variation of the Potence lamp, the Potence wall lamp features a wall-mounted swing-arm design. Jean Prouvé's lamp combines industrial-inspired aesthetics with practical functionality, exemplifying the elegance of French mid-century modern design.

  38. Bent Karlby Le Klint Pendant: Bent Karlby designed Le Klint pendants, characterized by their folded paper shades. The sculptural shades create a unique play of light and shadow, giving these fixtures a distinctive and artistic presence.

  39. Ingo Maurer Bulb Lamp: Ingo Maurer's Bulb lamp is a playful and contemporary take on the classic incandescent light bulb. The lamp features a single oversized light bulb-shaped shade, often crafted from frosted glass or resin, adding a touch of whimsy to modern interiors.

  40. Sergio Mazza Artemide Eclisse Lamp: The Eclisse lamp, designed by Sergio Mazza for Artemide, features a rotating half-sphere shade that partially conceals the light source. This innovative design allows users to adjust the amount of light emitted, making the Eclisse lamp both functional and visually intriguing.

  41. George Kovacs "Kaiser Idell" Lamp: George Kovacs, a prominent American designer, recreated the iconic "Kaiser Idell" lamp, originally designed by Christian Dell. The lamp features a geometric, Bauhaus-inspired design, and Kovacs' version preserves the lamp's timeless elegance.

  42. Jean Louis Dome Lamp: Jean Louis, a French designer, created dome-shaped pendant lamps that exuded elegance and simplicity. The lamps featured frosted glass or metal shades, providing soft and diffused illumination.

  43. Herman Miller Eames ET Table Lamp: The ET table lamp, part of the Eames Lighting collection, features a simple, conical shade supported by a slender metal arm. The lamp's understated design complements various interior styles, reflecting the Eames' dedication to functional and timeless aesthetics.

  44. Vico Magistretti Atollo Lamp: Vico Magistretti's Atollo lamp, characterized by its cylindrical shade and dome-shaped base, became an icon of Italian mid-century modern design. The lamp's sculptural presence and attention to proportion are enduring elements of this design.

  45. Paavo Tynell Snowflake Lamp: Another exquisite design by Paavo Tynell, the Snowflake lamp features delicate, perforated brass shades with a snowflake-like pattern. The lamp's captivating illumination and intricate craftsmanship are characteristic of Tynell's masterful lighting designs.

  46. Gino Sarfatti 2097 Chandelier: Designed by Gino Sarfatti in 1958, the 2097 chandelier features multiple arms with exposed bulbs, creating a dynamic and artistic composition. The chandelier's timeless elegance and contemporary appeal have made it a favorite among collectors and design enthusiasts.

  47. Isamu Noguchi Akari Floor Lamp: Isamu Noguchi's Akari floor lamps feature the same washi paper shades and bamboo ribbing as his lanterns but with elongated stems and floor bases. The Akari floor lamps provide soft and warm illumination while adding a sculptural and artistic element to living spaces.

  48. Carl Fagerlund Orrefors Pendant: Carl Fagerlund was a Swedish glass designer known for his collaboration with Orrefors. His pendant lamps often featured textured or patterned glass shades, creating a mesmerizing play of light and shadow.

  49. Fontana Arte Chandelier: Fontana Arte, an Italian design company, produced elegant chandeliers characterized by clean lines and the use of materials like glass and brass. Fontana Arte chandeliers exemplify the sophisticated and refined aesthetics of Italian mid-century modern design.

  50. Greta Magnusson-Grossman Grasshopper Lamp: Designed by Greta Magnusson-Grossman, the Grasshopper lamp features a unique, elongated shade resembling a grasshopper's leg. The lamp's slender stem and playful form reflect Grossman's pioneering contributions to mid-century modern design.


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