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Gerald Thurston

American

As the leading designer at Lightolier during the postwar building and design boom, Gerald Thurston created his clever lighting — sleek floor lamps, table lamps and desk lamps — to suit the American lifestyles of 1950s and 1960s. His designs were at the forefront of the mid-century modern lighting revolution — like much of the visionary work being done at the time in furniture and interiors, Thurston’s fixtures are both elegant and totally innovative, reflecting the exploration of new ideas and new technology that consumed designers of the era.

Thurston eventually led a stellar team of international lighting designers at Lightolier. He was important to the pioneering East Coast–based electric lighting company, and rumor has it that because he sketched every design on craft paper, the manufacturer insured his right hand for one million American dollars.

While enrolled in the School of the Art Institute of Chicago during the 1930s, where he earned his degree in industrial design, Thurston worked as a freelance designer for the Zenith Radio Corporation. Once he graduated, he found a position at the New Metal Craft Company. There he designed custom lighting fixtures and decorative objects for architects and interior designers.

Lightolier enticed Thurston to join them in approximately 1950. That same year, New York’s Museum of Modern Art featured a green floor lamp of his in their Good Design Exhibition of 1950. The sculptural lamps that Thurston created for Lightolier are representative of his interest in Scandinavian modernist lighting as well as the revolutionary designs produced by postwar Italian companies such as Arredoluce and Arteluce. (Lightolier partnered with the latter, and Thurston found inspiration in the work of Arteluce founder Gino Sarfatti.)

During Thurston’s decades-long tenure with Lightolier, he became internationally known for his many designs. His modernist fixtures are characterized by clean lines, vibrant colors and an appealing meld of metals and rich woods. His slender-legged Lightolier Tripod floor lamp, introduced in the 1960s, garnered widespread acclaim, while his whimsical Cricket lamp, with its arthropodan shade and slim brass frame, is wholly versatile — it can be hung as a sconce or positioned on a desk and offers direct or diffused light.

On 1stDibs, find vintage Gerald Thurston lighting, decorative objects and more.

Iconic Designs from Gerald Thurston
Explore timeless pieces that have earned their place in history.
Gerald Thurston Triennale Floor Lamp
Gerald Thurston Triennale Floor Lamp
Gerald Thurston Tripod Lamp
Gerald Thurston Tripod Lamp
Cricket Lamp
Cricket Lamp
Gerald Thurston Gourd Lamp
Gerald Thurston Gourd Lamp
Elegant Table Lamp or Desk Light by Gerald Thurston for Lightolier USA 1950s
By Gerald Thurston, Lightolier
Located in Munich, DE
Elegant Mid-Century Modern table lamp or desk light. Designed by Gerald Thurston for Lightolier, USA, 1950s. Executed in brass, aluminium, lucite and metal, the table lamp comes wit...
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Gerald Thurston

Materials

Metal, Aluminum, Brass

Gerald Thurston for Lightolier Beige "Cricket" Desk Lamp, Circa 1955
By Lightolier, Gerald Thurston
Located in Bainbridge, NY
Original Classic Gerald Thurston for Lightolier Beige Cricket Table Lamp, Wall Lamp. Featuring an adjustable perforated dome Bakelite Shade in Coffee Cream, Pale Taupe on Brass frame...
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Gerald Thurston

Materials

Brass, Steel

Mid Century Gooseneck Floor Lamp by Thurston for Lightolier
By Lightolier, Gerald Thurston
Located in New York, NY
Iconic Mid Century two light gooseneck floor lamp, having flex arms with conical shades, on round plinth base. Designed by Gerald Thurston, for Lightolier, circa 1950's. Often imita...
Category

Mid-20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Gerald Thurston

Materials

Brass, Steel

Mid Century Modern Reading Adjustable Floor Lamp by Gerald Thurston C1955
By Gerald Thurston
Located in Port Jervis, NY
Fabulous fifties adjustable floor lamp by Gerald Thurston for Lightolier. White with brass components and in excellent vintage condition with minimal wear. A scrape about halfway up ...
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Gerald Thurston

Materials

Metal, Steel, Brass

Vintage Gerald Thurston Floor Lamp for Lightolier
By Lightolier, Gerald Thurston
Located in Chicago, IL
Vintage Gerald Thurston Floor Lamp for Lightolier. Italian inspired. In the manner of Gino Sarfatti for Arredoluce More than likely Jonathan Adler's Maxime Task Floor Lamp was a s...
Category

Mid-20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Gerald Thurston

Materials

Brass

Lightolier Lytespan Tension Pole Lamp! Mid Century Modern 1950s Gerald Thurston
By Lightolier, Gerald Thurston
Located in Peoria, AZ
MONUMENTAL! LIGHTOLIER MID CENTURY MODERN LYTESPAN 1959 TENSION POLE LAMP! ICONIC 3 GOLD SHADES WITH HANDLES! FITS 8 FT. CEILING This is both an iconic & gorgeous Lightolier at...
Category

Mid-20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Gerald Thurston

Materials

Metal

1950s Gerald Thurston Triennale Floor Lamp for Lightolier, USA
By Lightolier, Gerald Thurston
Located in London, GB
Gerald Thurston Triennale floor lamp for Lightolier. Original dusky pink enameled frame and base with brass detailing. In good vintage condition showing expected signs of wear comme...
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Gerald Thurston

Materials

Metal

Mid Century Modern Triennial Floor Lamp by Gerald Thurston for Lightolier C1965
By Gerald Thurston
Located in Port Jervis, NY
Fabulous Gerald Thurston design and interpretation of the triennial floor lamp in brown tones with brass accents. Completely maneuverable to accent any lighting position desired. In ...
Category

1960s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Gerald Thurston

Materials

Metal, Brass

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Creators Similar to Gerald Thurston

More Gerald Thurston Designs
Gerald Thurston Triennale Floor Lamp
Gerald Thurston Triennale Floor Lamp
Average Price
$3,965
Number Available
3
Gerald Thurston Triennale Floor Lamp
By Gerald Thurston
Materials
Metal, Brass, Paint
Styles
Mid Century Modern
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Gerald Thurston Tripod Lamp
Gerald Thurston Tripod Lamp
Average Price
$3,833
Number Available
3
Gerald Thurston Tripod Lamp
By Gerald Thurston
Materials
Metal, Fabric, Brass, Linen, Paper
Styles
Mid Century Modern
Because industrial designer Gerald E. Thurston (1914–2005) sketched his designs on sheets of craft paper, rumor has it that manufacturer Lightolier took out an insurance policy on his right hand. Little has been written about Thurston’s work, which was critical to Lightolier’s success, but aficionados of mid-century modern American furniture have long celebrated Thurston’s streamlined light fixtures. For those in the know, the highly sought-after brass and wood Tripod floor lamp exemplifies t...
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Cricket Lamp
Cricket Lamp
Average Price
$3,200
Number Available
2
Cricket Lamp
By Gerald Thurston
Materials
Metal, Enamel
Styles
Mid Century Modern
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Gerald Thurston Gourd Lamp
Gerald Thurston Gourd Lamp
Average Price
$3,100
Number Available
2
Gerald Thurston Gourd Lamp
By Gerald Thurston
Materials
Ceramic, Brass, Metal
Styles
Mid Century Modern
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Gerald Thurston furniture for sale on 1stDibs.

Gerald Thurston furniture are available for sale on 1stDibs. These distinctive items are frequently made of metal and are designed with extraordinary care. There are many options to choose from in our collection of Gerald Thurston furniture, although brown editions of this piece are particularly popular. Many of the original furniture by Gerald Thurston were created in the mid-century modern style in north america during the 20th century. If you’re looking for additional options, many customers also consider furniture by Robert Sonneman, Stiffel, and Chapman Manufacturing Company. Prices for Gerald Thurston furniture can differ depending upon size, time period and other attributes — on 1stDibs, these items begin at $395 and can go as high as $7,800, while a piece like these, on average, fetch $2,200.

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