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Table Lamp

A work made of silver plate, glass, and ebony.

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  • A work made of silver plate, glass, and ebony.


c. 1930


Walter von Nessen
American, born Germany, 1889–1943
Made by Nessen Studio (now Nessen Lamps) Incorporated (founded 1927)

About this artwork

Walter von Nessen initially received acclaim for his lighting, especially the lamps he designed for Eliel Saarinen’s Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. Von Nessen became a great champion of the use of metal as an appropriate medium to capture the look and spirit of the modern age. Here the lamp’s sleek lines convey standardized, streamlined manufacturing, and its exposed hardware is characteristic of industrial fabrication. At the same time, the artist employed a silver finish and added a vertical strip of ebony along the shaft, giving the lamp a sumptuous, jewel-like quality. Meant to accompany a series of occasional tables that he created around 1930, Von Nessen’s Table Lamp beautifully illustrates America’s shift to a modern visual idiom during the 1930s.


Currently Off View


Arts of the Americas


Walter Von Nessen


Table Lamp


United States


c. 1930


Silver plate, glass, and ebony


52.1 × 35.6 × 48.3 cm (20.5 × 14 × 19 in.)

Credit Line

Through prior bequest of Arthur Rubloff

Reference Number


Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.


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