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Robert Sonneman Wall Lights and Sconces

American, b. 1943

Though Robert Sonneman was quite literally born into the lighting business, it took working for another celebrated lighting maker for him to land upon the kind of boundary-pushing modernism for which the New York–based designer is known today.

At the age of 19, fresh off a stint in the U.S. Navy, Sonneman responded to an ad for a position working in the studio of George Kovacs on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, where he became the sole employee. “Although my parents were in the lighting business, they came from a traditional perspective, and Kovacs introduced me to modernism,” Sonneman once said. “It was 1961, and I was immediately captured by the movement.”

While working for Kovacs, Sonneman became captivated by the work of the Bauhaus, and he began experimenting with the influential art and design school’s ideas of functional simplicity in lighting. In 1967, he opened his own studio.

Though Sonneman Design Group produced furniture for a brief time, the designer eventually elected to focus on the one category that had always fascinated him; the brand became known for its floor lamps, sconces, pendants and chandeliers that feature unconventional treatments toward shape and balance, often inspired by modern architecture. Sonneman once said of his work: “I saw the lamps that I built as lighting machines that glorified the industrial aesthetic.”

Indeed, in the spirit of Bauhaus functionality — Sonneman has also cited Mies van der Rohe as being an inspiration — the designer’s work takes function-centric forms and motifs and elevates them while prioritizing technology. This spirit of forward thinking continues today, as Sonneman’s brand, renamed SONNEMAN – A Way of Light in 2003, works with LED bulbs to continue to push the boundaries of what functional lighting can achieve aesthetically.

Current-day releases by SONNEMAN – A Way of Light (still overseen by Sonneman himself) feature 95 percent LED lights and include interior and exterior lighting as well as modular suspended lights as an alternative to track lighting. Sonneman’s vintage pieces, however, are still widely collected on the secondary market.

Find vintage Robert Sonneman lighting on 1stDibs.

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Creator: Robert Sonneman
Contemporary Modern Pair of Robert Sonneman Orbital Articulating Wall Lamps
By Robert Sonneman
Located in Keego Harbor, MI
A modern contemporary pair of Robert Sonneman Orbital articulating wall lamps. An amazing set of wall lamps from the great work of Robert Sonneman. This very unique pair of wall lamp...
Category

Late 20th Century Robert Sonneman Wall Lights and Sconces

Materials

Metal

Multi-Adjustable Robert Sonneman Wall Mounted Orbitor Reading Lamp
By Robert Sonneman, Sonneman Lighting
Located in Paris, FR
Arcing swivel and tilt counter balanced wall mounted task or reading lamp. Robert Sonneman design for Sonneman lighting. Horizontal shaft is 39.37" long, arc measures 17.7" deep ...
Category

1960s American Vintage Robert Sonneman Wall Lights and Sconces

Materials

Metal, Chrome

Robert Sonneman Curvy Chrome Orbiter Wall Sconce Walnut Wall Mount, 1960s
By Robert Sonneman
Located in National City, CA
For your pleasure: Cool curvy chrome orbiter white wall sconce walnut wall mount 1960s Fabulous Mid-Century Modern chrome wall sconce by Robert Sonneman. Sleek curved sconce attach...
Category

1960s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Robert Sonneman Wall Lights and Sconces

Materials

Chrome

Pair Chrome Bracket Sconces by Robert Sonneman for Koch & Lowy
By Robert Sonneman, Koch & Lowy
Located in Hanover, MA
We have a pair of polished chrome 'wall tree' bracket sconces designed by Robert Sonneman for Koch & Lowy in 1972 (see original catalog images). Three cubes (4" x 4" x 7") each hold ...
Category

1970s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Robert Sonneman Wall Lights and Sconces

Materials

Aluminum, Chrome

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Previously Available Items
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Robert Sonneman wall lights and sconces for sale on 1stDibs.

Robert Sonneman wall lights and sconces 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 Robert Sonneman wall lights and sconces, although brown editions of this piece are particularly popular. Many of the original wall lights and sconces by Robert Sonneman were created in the mid-century modern style in united states during the 20th century. If you’re looking for additional options, many customers also consider wall lights and sconces by Peter Hamburger, Chapman Manufacturing Company, and Dorlyn Silversmiths. Prices for Robert Sonneman wall lights and sconces can differ depending upon size, time period and other attributes — on 1stDibs, these items begin at £417 and can go as high as £1,628, while a piece like these, on average, fetch £1,445.

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