Art/ Collection/ Art Object

"Giso 404" Piano Lamp

Jacobus Johannes Pieter Oud (Dutch, Purmerend 1890–1963 Wassenaar)
W. H. Gispen
ca. 1928
Lacquered patinated brass
4 1/2 x 7 3/4 x 11 3/4 in. (11.4 x 19.7 x 29.8 cm)
Credit Line:
Purchase, Charina Foundation Inc. Gift, 2002
Accession Number:
Not on view
In 1927, the Dutch architect J. J. P. Oud designed a piano lamp as a wedding gift for a friend, which was subsequently put into production and given the name Giso 404. Oud, who together with Gerrit Rietveld and Theo van Doesburg was a prominent member of the avant-garde De Stijl movement, here abandoned any suggestion of a conventional design. Intended to sit on the top of an upright piano, his lamp is boldly cantilevered beyond it to illuminate the keyboard and sheet music. The weight of the cylinder floating in space, which houses the long light bulb, is dynamically balanced by a solid metal sphere. Effectively an abstract sculpture, its geometric form strongly suggests the influence of the Bauhaus, to which Oud had close ties.
(sale, Christie's, South Kensington, October 10, 2001, no. 12, sold to MMA)

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "A Curator's Eye: J. Stewart Johnson, 1990–2004," March 1–November 6, 2005, no catalogue.

London. Victoria and Albert Museum. "Modernism: Designing a New World 1914–1939," April 6–July 23, 2006, no. 137a.

MARTa Herford. "Modernism: Designing a New World 1914–1939," September 16, 2006–January 7, 2007, no. 137a.

Washington, D. C. Corcoran Gallery of Art. "Modernism: Designing a New World 1914–1939," March 17–July 29, 2007, no. 137a.

"Techniek en Kunst." Wendingen 9, no. 2 (1928).

Hans P. Oud. J. J. P. Oud: Architekt, 1890–1963: Feiten en herinneringen gerangschikt. The Hague, 1984, p. 199.

Elisabeth Reinhartz-Tergau. "Een Gispenlamp vsn 1987 J. J. P. Oud." Jong Holland 3, no. 1 (1987), pp. 34–37.

Barbara Laan and André Koch, ed. Collectie Gispen: Meubels, lampen en archivalia in het NAi, 1916–1980. Rotterdam, 1996.

André Koch. W. H. Gispen: A Pioneer of Dutch Design (1890–1981). Rotterdam, 1998, pp. 33, 56–58.

Ed Taverne, Cor Wagenaar, and Martien de Vletter. J. J. P. Oud: The Complete Works 1890–1963. Rotterdam, 2001, p. 371, no. 61, ill., call it "Piano Lamp/ Giso 404" and date it 1927.

J. Stewart Johnson in "Recent Acquisitions, A Selection: 2001–2002." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 60 (Fall 2002), p. 41, ill. (color).

Tim Benton in Modernism: Designing a New World 1914–1939. Exh. cat., Victoria and Albert Museum. London, 2006, p. 213, no. 137a, ill. (color).

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