Hoffmann designed this lamp when artificial light sources were shifting from gas to electric, which challenged designers to innovate in accordance with the new technology. Rather than putting shades around the bulbs, Hoffmann left the light source exposed. The suspended glass spheres echo the bulbs’ shape and draw further attention to the new technology as they catch and reflect the electric light.
Marking: Marked (top surface of base): [Wiener Werkstätte rose mark] / WW [in oval] / JH / KS
private collection, Europe (sold to Historical Design); [Historical Design Inc., New York, by 1996–97; sold to MMA]
New York. Historical Design Inc. "Vienna 1900–1930: Art in the Home," October 16, 1996–January 18, 1997, unnumbered cat. (p. 36).
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Recent Acquisitions of Twentieth-Century Design and Architecture," June 29–November 14, 1999, no catalogue.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "A Century of Design, Part I: 1900–1925," December 14, 1999–March 26, 2000, no catalogue.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "A Curator's Eye: J. Stewart Johnson, 1990–2004," March 1–November 6, 2005, no catalogue.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Masterpieces of Modern Design: Selections from the Collection," May 30–October 5, 2008, no catalogue.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Highlights from the Modern Design Collection: 1900–Present, Part II," May 23, 2011–July 1, 2012, no catalogue.
Maria F. Rich. Vienna 1900–1930: Art in the Home. Exh. cat., Historical Design Inc. New York, 1996, pp. 36–37, 68, ill. (color), dates it about 1904.
J. Stewart Johnson in "Recent Acquisitions, A Selection: 1996–1997." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 55 (Fall 1997), p. 69, ill. (color).