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Gerald Thurston Parabolic Fin Lamp for Lightolier

$1,950

About

Gerald Thurston design Parabolic Fin table lamp for Lightolier, Circa 1950's.

Details

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    Ships From: San Francisco, CA
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About the Designer

Gerald Thurston

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.

About the Seller
4.9
Located in San Francisco, CA
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Established in 2003
1stDibs seller since 2005
224 sales on 1stDibs
Typical response time: 2 hours
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20th Century Specialists
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