Italian Mid-Century Lighting

The allure of Italian mid-century lighting was the focus of this morning’s class in the program Collecting Design at the Center for Architecture/AIA. For the mission of illuminating its charisma; exploring its evolution in the marketplace; and revealing the materials, craftsmanship, and technologies employed by those innovative pioneers responsible for the finest Italian lighting of this era, I have invited Paul Donzella to share his incredible expertise, deep passion, and immense experience. In the most candid, authentic way, he illustrated and analyzed one of the hottest areas in the collectible design market today. The result was a remarkable, fascinating session that enriched everyone attended. 

Donzella chose to focus on the best of the best in the history of Italian lighting, on the stars, the masters, those who merged culture, industry, and Italian identity, when bringing Italian lighting to the highest level of excellence and to the world stage: Gino Sarfatti; Angelo Lelii; Gio Ponti; Fontana Arte; and Murano Glass. All created/produced high style avant-garde in both forms and groundbreaking technologies, making significant contribution to the story of Italian design, while bringing lighting to the highest expression of modernism.  
 
Gino Sarfatti (1912-1984), one of the greatest and most successful lighting designers of the 20th century, and founder of Arteluce, was a purist. Over the course of his career, Sarfatti realized hundreds of lamps, all innovative in shape and technology. In a similar way, industrial designer Angelo Lelii (1911-79) founded his own private company, Arredoluce, producing lamps in the artisanal way; in addition to his own designs, he commissioned Gio Ponti and Ettore Sottsass to create cutting-edge lights. Max Ingrand (1908-69) the glass master and artistic director of Fontana Arte (1954-64), who moved from stained glass to creating some of the most memorable lights in the history of 20th-century design, has been a star in the design market.

Most of the pieces illustrated here are available at Donzella. Above: Max Ingrand for Fontana Arte 

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Max Ingrand for Fontana Arte

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Max Ingrand for Fontana Arte

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Angelo Lelii for Arredoluce

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Angelo Lelii for Arredoluce

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Angelo Lelii for Arredoluce

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Gino Sarfatti for Arteluce

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Gino Sarfatti for Arteluce

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Max Ingrand for Fontana Arte

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Murano

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Murano

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Murano

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