In the Mix

Electrifying Design

Design Miami

Museum of Fine Arts Houston presents the first large-scale US exhibition examining the evolution of lighting over the past 100 years

Opening February 21 at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Electrifying Design: A Century of Lighting is the first large-scale U.S. exhibition to examine the artistic and technological evolution of international lighting over the past 100 years.  The exhibition presents 85 rare or limited-production iconic creations by leading designers, such as Gae Aulenti, Bouroullec Brothers, Johanna Grawunder, Poul Henningsen, Jean Prouvé, Gerrit Rietveld, Gino Sarfatti, Ettore Sottsass, and Studio Drift.

PH 2/2 Piano Lamp by Poul Henningsen for Louis Poulsen,1931. © 1931 Estate of Poul Henningsen. Photo © MFAH

“Lighting as a field has often been pushed, literally, into the shadows,” said Cindi Strauss, exhibition co-curator and the Sara and Bill Morgan Curator of Decorative Arts, Craft, and Design at the MFAH. “This exhibition highlights its role as a leading indicator of stylistic and technical change.”

Moloch Floor Lamp by Gaetano Pesce for Bracciodiferro, 1971. © 1971 Gaetano Pesce. Photo © MFAH

Sarah Schleuning, exhibition co-curator and the Margot B. Perot Senior Curator of Decorative Arts and Design at the Dallas Museum of Art adds: “Electrifying Design brings together exceptional objects that will delight visitors with a combination of innovative forms. The exhibition revels in the alchemy of these designs that continue to evoke wonder and inspiration for generations to come.”

Super Lamp by Martine Bedin for Memphis Milano, designed c. 1978, made c. 1980s. © 1978 Martine Bedin. Photo © MFAH

Many of Design Miami’s long-time exhibitors contributed works to this landmark exhibition, including Carpenters Workshop Gallery, Friedman Benda, LAFFANOUR-Galerie Downtown, Galerie kreo, and R & Company.

Electrifying Design will be on view at Museum of Fine Arts Houston February 21 - May 16, 2021, before traveling to the High Museum of Art in June. The exhibition is accompanied by an illustrated catalogue published by Yale University Press and the Museum of Fine Arts Houston. ◆


Works from Studio Drift’s Fragile Future Series can be found in Electrifying Design as well as the Design Miami/ Shop.

Fragile Future 3.14 by Drift, designed 2015, made 2018. © 2015 Drift. Photo © MFAH