• wood lamp with square base and bulb nested in four tall wood spires.
  • detail of wood base with carved initials and roman numeral date
  • detail of pull chain with faceted wood pull at end of metal chain

Table Lamp

Wharton Esherick



30 inches high

Collection of the Wharton Esherick Museum

Images courtesy of Eoin O’Neill

This Table Lamp is one of the earliest examples of Esherick’s lifelong interest in using lighting to enliven his work — and not just when designing lamps. This lamp (along with a companion made in 1931) were produced shortly after Esherick’s transformative trip to Germany to study Expressionist sculpture in 1930, and reflect the sharp geometry and forceful lines of much of his work at the time. Rather than use a traditional shade, Esherick has designed four external elements that taper to a point to surround a bare-light bulb nestled inside. This squared construction is set on the base at an angle, lending the whole composition a sense of perpetual motion and instability. 

Read more about Esherick’s unconventional use of lighting in an essay on our blog, written in conjunction with the WEM’s 2018 exhibition focusing on contemporary lighting.