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Gerald Thurston Furniture

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.

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Creator: Gerald Thurston
Dealer: Lewis Trimble
Pair of Gerald Thurston Fin Lamps for Lightolier
By Gerald Thurston, Lightolier
Located in Kilmarnock, VA
A pair of parabolic fin table lamps by Gerard Thurston. Stoneware body is made up of four fin like shapes that have alternating concave Navy and light turquoise glaze. Porcelain sits...
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Gerald Thurston Furniture

Materials

Brass

Pair of Chocolate Honeycomb Lamps by Gerald Thurston for Lightolier, 1950s
By Gerald Thurston
Located in Kilmarnock, VA
Stunning pair of Gerald Thurston for Lightolier table lamps, circa 1950. These lamps are all original including original shades.
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Gerald Thurston Furniture

Materials

Brass

Related Items
Gerald Thurston for Lightolier Beige "Cricket" Desk Lamp, Circa 1955
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Original Classic Gerald Thurston for Lightolier Beige Cricket Table Lamp, Wall Lamp. Featuring an adjustable perforated dome Bakelite Shade in Coffe...
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1950s Gerald Thurston Tripod Table Lamp Pair Space Age Modern Lightolier
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Pair of Gerald Thurston for Lightolier Brass and Metal Table Lamps
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Midcentury Tri Pod Table Lamp by Gerald Thurston for Lightolier C 1950s
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Classic midcentury table lamp designed by Gerald Thurston, made by Lightolier, circa 1950s. The lamp has a three leg, tripod form base of black rods, which support interior diffusers...
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Elegant Table Lamp or Desk Light by Gerald Thurston for Lightolier USA 1950s
By Lightolier, Gerald Thurston
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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...
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Gerald Thurston for Lightolier Adjustable Taupe Desk Lamp, 1950's
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Original condition Gerald Thurston for Lightolier Pivoting Library lamp, 1950's. Featuring an articulating patinated Brass stem, resembling a smooth Bronze appearance, adjustable Tau...
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1950s Gerald Thurston Table Lamp, Lightolier, USA
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Located in St- Leonard, Quebec
Elegant table lamp made of walnut, brass with plastic shade. By Gerald Thurston for Lightolier. Marked.
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1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Gerald Thurston Furniture

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Gerald Thurston Parabolic Fin Sculptural Ceramic Lamps by Lightolier
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Sculptural Pair of "Parabolic Fin" Model Ceramic Lamps, designed by Gerald Thurston for Lightolier, American, circa 1950s. They have been rewired and are ready to use. One lamp has a...
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1970's Gerald Thurston for Lightolier Black Lacquered Table / Desk Lamp
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Gerald Thurston for lightolier basic concept table lamp with black lacquered steel base and lamp stem, white acrylic drum shade and plastic diffuser unde...
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Gerald Thurston Lightolier Style Mid Century Modern Design Desk Lamp 1950s
By Lightolier, Gerald Thurston
Located in Miami, FL
A Mid Century Modern Gerald Thurston classic design style for Lightolier Desk Lamp. Actually could be used anywhere with it’s streamline metal tulip base body with a built in cut cr...
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Gerald Thurston Furniture

Materials

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Gerald Thurston for Lightolier Double Desk Lamp
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Classic, Mid-Century Modern, double-headed desk lamp by Gerald Thurston for Lightolier features painted metal shades with perforated diffusers and brass accents on a faux wood metal ...
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Gerald Thurston Canister Reflector Lamps by Lightolier
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Located in New York, NY
Pair of Gerald Thurston powder coated aluminum canister lamps reflect light from the back of the lamp. Very beautiful illumination.
Category

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Materials

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Previously Available Items
Pair of Fluted Lamps by Gerald Thurston
By Gerald Thurston, Lightolier
Located in Kilmarnock, VA
Rare pair of fluted stoneware lamps by Gerald Thurston. Wonderful shape and texture on these lamps which play with the light and shadows. Shade is not included but measurements can...
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Gerald Thurston Furniture

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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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