Our Lighting History

Art Nouveau Style in Historical Lighting Fixtures

Art Nouveau Style in Historical Lighting Fixtures

This precursor to the Art Deco style of the 1920s enjoyed its popularity before the World Wars tainted the mindset and interests of people around the globe. Art Nouveau's clever combinations of geometry and organic forms created something truly unique that many people still enjoy today. At Historical Lights, I am proud to use my professional restoration efforts on some stunning pieces of antique lighting ceiling fixtures, wall sconces, and other vintage lighting fixtures in this interesting style.

The Emergence of Art Nouveau

The name of the style itself speaks of modern and up-to-date ideas and concepts. In the late 19th and early 20th century times, this meant turning away from the basic and utilitarian styles of previous lamps, furniture, artwork, and other decor. This was the art of the Industrial Revolution that combined usefulness with a truly unique flair for dramatic yet organic forms.

Instead of hanging art on the walls or placing it on pedestals, the Art Nouveau period pushed it into household objects. One of the most obvious, and one I personally have interest in the most, is the vintage lighting fixtures found in homes and other buildings of the time. Seeking these out and bringing them back to their former glory is a true labor of love that I hope many people appreciate.

Form Follows (and Exceeds) Function

An Art Nouveau light chandelier or wall sconce illuminates a room as well as any lamp. The restored ones offered here at Historical Lights do so even better than before, as they are all updated to modern safety standards,effective electrical systems and bulbs. You could still sit on a sofa or place flowers in the vase to get the full antique lighting effect.

However, this new focus on form and style turned a former focus on function only on its head. The intricate metal and detailed glass of a wall sconce attracted as much attention as the things it illuminated. The organic lines of a tulip or shell-shaped glass globe on a ceiling fixture brought more things to mind than the ability to have sufficient light in the room.

The intention to help people enjoy the beauty of useful things grew and continues to this day. Art Nouveau was in direct contrast to the mass-produced stuff churned out by the new factories that worked in quantity and not quality. One exceptionally well-known Art Nouveau lighting master was Louis Comfort Tiffany, who used stained glass to design his functional yet highly beautiful Art Nouveau lamps.

Current Interest in Art Nouveau

People who appreciate the blend of organic and geometric design from years long gone still seek out the rich and opulent designs for artwork and home furnishings. Although it was dismissed in the early 1900s as unnecessarily decorative, and people who prefer minimalism and simplicity these days would never deign to install an antique lighting fixture in this style, it still remains a favorite for many decorators.

At Historical Lights, I enjoy the discovery of all types of lamps and vintage lighting fixtures from different eras, style philosophies, and movements. With careful attention to detail, I hand clean and refurbish every piece I discover. Explore the current selection to find exactly what you need to light up your life.

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