“4 Things to See This Week” is sponsored by Bloomberg Connects, a free arts and culture app. Bloomberg Connect gives you on-demand access to museums, galleries, and cultural spaces around the world. Download the app here Access our digital guide and explore a wide range of content.
Each week we bring you four of the most interesting objects, hand-picked from museums, galleries and art institutions around the world, to commemorate key moments in the calendar.
It’s no exaggeration to say that Thomas Edison’s light bulb changed the world. This invention marked the end of candles, whale oil lamps, and gas lamps that were used in homes around the world.
British scientist Humphrey Davy developed a powerful electric light in the 1800s, and although many attempts had been made to illuminate rooms with incandescent light, the United States patented it on October 21, 1879. The inventor’s version of was cheaper, longer-lasting, and more energy efficient. Edison’s light bulb was the result of his over 1,200 experiments and was able to last for his record-breaking 14.5 hours. “My light is finally perfect,” he said. boasted to new york times Reporter. On New Year’s Eve of the same year, more than 3,000 people visited Edison’s laboratory and witnessed the inventor turn on and off a display of 40 light bulbs like an electric fireworks display.
144 years after Edison’s historic invention, we take a look at four works of art and objects that tell the story of light.
1. Job is ridiculed by his wife (c. 1630), Georges de la Tour
Epinal Museum of Ancient Art and Contemporary Art
Like Caravaggio and Turner, French Baroque painter Georges de la Tour was a master of light. In his intimate scenes, figures are depicted by candlelight, which in this work is thought to symbolize the presence of God. The painting depicts a scene from the Old Testament in which Job, once a wealthy and influential man, is praised by his wife for keeping his faith despite his current dire circumstances. It depicts a scene where someone is laughing.click here To find out more.
2. Whale oil lamp (c. 1813-1830)
Corning Museum of Glass, New York
Despite the cost and odor, burning whale oil was a common way to bring light into homes in the early 19th century. This elegant oil lamp is made of colorless glass and has an architectural style with a stepped base and grooves on the inside of the central stem or column.click here To find out more.
3. Tiffany lamp (1890–1900)
Budapest Museum of Applied Arts
Along with the Anglepoise lamp and Isamu Noguchi’s Akali lights, the Tiffany lamp is one of the most iconic pieces of lighting design that evolved from Edison’s invention. In this example, a Tiffany glass lampshade (typically in Art Nouveau style with polychrome motifs inspired by nature) is combined with a gilded bronze stand. Masu.click here To find out more.
4. SM100 Solar Light, Henry James
Design Museum, London
Although it may seem like Edison’s invention has brightened up the entire planet, there are still many places that lack electrical infrastructure. Designer Henry James created an affordable, durable solar lamp to replace dangerous kerosene lamps that emit toxic fumes into homes for people living in rural areas of countries such as Malawi and Zambia. I created a light.click here Learn more about the Bloomberg Connects app.
“4 Things to See This Week” is sponsored by Bloomberg Connects, a free arts and culture app. Bloomberg Connect gives you on-demand access to museums, galleries, and cultural spaces around the world. Download the app here You can access the digital guide to explore different content or scan the QR code.