Wilhelm Wagenfeld, Carl Jakob Jucker. Table Lamp. 1923-24
Wilhelm Wagenfeld, Carl Jakob Jucker

Table Lamp

Not on view
Bauhaus Metal Workshop, Germany
Chromed metal and glass
18 x 8" (45.7 x 20.3 cm) diam.; 5 1/2" (14 cm) diam. at base
Gift of Philip Johnson
Object number
© 2015 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn
Architecture and Design

This object, known as the "Bauhaus lamp," embodies an essential idea—form follows function—advanced by the influential Bauhaus school, founded in 1919 by the architect Walter Gropius, which taught a modern synthesis of both fine and applied arts. Through the employment of simple geometric shapes—circular base, cylindrical shaft, and spherical shade—Wagenfeld and Jucker achieved "both maximum simplicity and, in terms of time and materials, greatest economy." The lamp's working parts are visible; the opaque glass shade, a type formerly used only for industrial lighting, helps to diffuse the light.

The lamp was produced in the Bauhaus metal workshop after its re-organization under the direction of the artist László Moholy-Nagy in 1923. The workshop promoted the use of new materials and favored mass production under a collaborative, rather than individual, approach.

Initial attempts at marketing the lamp in 1924 were unsuccessful, primarily because most of its parts were still hand assembled at the Bauhaus. Today, the lamp is widely produced by Techno-lumen of Bremen, Germany, and is generally perceived as an icon of modern industrial design.

Publication excerpt from The Museum of Modern Art, MoMA Highlights, New York: The Museum of Modern Art, revised 2004, originally published 1999, p. 119

Image permissions

In order to effectively service requests for images, The Museum of Modern Art entrusts the licensing of images of works of art in its collections to the agencies Scala Archives and Art Resource. As MoMA’s representatives, these agencies supply high-resolution digital image files provided to them directly by the Museum's imaging studios.

All requests to reproduce works of art from MoMA's collection within North America (Canada, U.S., Mexico) should be addressed directly to Art Resource at 536 Broadway, New York, New York 10012. Telephone (212) 505-8700; fax (212) 505-2053; requests@artres.com; artres.com. Requests from all other geographical locations should be addressed directly to Scala Group S.p.A., 62, via Chiantigiana, 50012 Bagno a Ripoli/Firenze, Italy. Telephone 39 055 6233 200; fax 39 055 641124; firenze@scalarchives.com; scalarchives.com.

Requests for permission to reprint text from MoMA publications should be addressed to text_permissions@moma.org.

Related links:
Outside North America: Scala Archives
North America: Art Resource

This record is a work in progress. If you have additional information, or have spotted an error, please send feedback to collection@moma.org.
This work is not on view.
Carl Jakob Jucker has 1 work online.
Wilhelm Wagenfeld has 29 works online.
There are 8,566 design works online.