American Decorative Arts
Photo credit: Yale University Art Gallery
Designer: Peter Pfisterer, American, born Switzerland, 1907
Manufacturer: Mutual Sunset Lamp Manufacturing Company, Inc., American

Floor Lamp

1940

Chromium-plated metal and paint

67 1/4 x 21 1/4 x 11 in. (170.8 x 54 x 27.9 cm)
Gift of Jane Ritchie in memory of Andrew C. Ritchie
1981.53.14
In 1941 the Museum of Modern Art awarded this lamp by Peter Pfisterer first prize for lighting in the museum’s Organic Design exhibition. Many different kinds of light could be ingeniously obtained through the two horizontally rotating arms, on which are rotating shades. One arm could be adjusted near a chair for reading and the other could provide ambient light for the room. Pfisterer’s design is a forerunner of the ubiquitous floor-to-ceiling pole lamps of the 1950s and 1960s.
Culture: 
American
Period: 
20th century
Classification: 
Lighting Devices
Geography: 
Designed in Los Angeles, California
Manufactured in New York, New York
Status: 
On view
Provenance: 

Purchased from Organic Design in Home Furnishings by Jane Thompson Ritchie and Andrew Carnduss Ritchie, New York, then Buffalo, New York, New Haven, Conn., and Canaan, Conn., 1941-81

Bibliography: 

“Acquisitions 1981,” Yale University Art Gallery Bulletin 38, no. 3 (Winter 1983): 72.

John Stuart Gordon et al., A Modern World: American Design from the Yale University Art Gallery, 1920–1950 (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 2011), 272–73, no. 187.

Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of such records is ongoing.