Illuminating the glass box: The lighting designs of Richard Kelly

Petty, Margaret Maile (2007) Illuminating the glass box: The lighting designs of Richard Kelly. Journal of Society of Architectural Historians, 66(2), pp. 194-219.

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Abstract

A promotional brochure celebrating the completion of the Seagram Building in spring 1957 features on its cover intense portraits of seven men bisected by a single line of bold text that asks, “Who are these Men?” The answer appears on the next page: “They Dreamed of a Tower of Light” (Figures 1, 2). Each photograph is reproduced with the respective man’s name and project credit: architects, Mies van der Rohe and Philip Johnson; associate architect, Eli Jacques Kahn; electrical contractor, Harry F. Fischbach; lighting consultant, Richard Kelly; and electrical engineer, Clifton E. Smith. To the right, a rendering of the new Seagram Tower anchors the composition, standing luminous against a star-speckled night sky; its glass walls and bronze mullions are transformed into a gossamer skin that reveals the tower’s structural skeleton. Lightolier, the contract lighting manufacturer, produced the brochure to promote its role in the lighting of the Seagram Building, but Lightolier’s promotional copy was not far from the truth.

Impact and interest:

2 citations in Scopus
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ID Code: 94958
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
DOI: 10.1525/jsah.2007.66.2.194
ISSN: 0037-9808
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2007 Journal of Society of Architectural Historians
Deposited On: 15 Apr 2016 01:14
Last Modified: 06 May 2016 01:05

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