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rotation 2 1 of 13 2 of 13 3 of 13 4 of 13 rotation 1 5 of 13 rotation 3 rotation 4 6 of 13 rotation 5 rotation 6 7 of 13 Gallery Text One of the earliest electrically powered kinetic sculptures, Light
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rotation 2 1 of 13 2 of 13 3 of 13 4 of 13 rotation 1 5 of 13 rotation 3 rotation 4 6 of 13 rotation 5 rotation 6 7 of 13 Gallery Text One of the earliest electrically powered kinetic sculptures, Light Prop for an Electric Stage holds a central place in the history of modern sculpture. Representing the culmination of Moholy-Nagy s experimentation at the Bauhaus, it incorporates his interest in technology, new materials, and, above all, light. Moholy sought to revolutionize human perception and thereby enable society to better apprehend the modern technological world. He presented Light Prop at a 1930 exhibition of German design as a mechanism for generating special lighting and motion effects on a stage. The rotating construction produces a startling array of visual effects when its moving and reflective surfaces interact with the beam of light. The sculpture became the subject of numerous photographs as well as Moholy s abstract film Lightplay: Black, White, Gray (1930). Over the years the artist and later the museums made alterations to the sculpture to keep it in working order. It is still operational today. Identification and Creation Object Number BR of 13 People László Moholy-Nagy, Hungarian (Bacsborsod, Hungary Chicago, Ill., USA) Title Light Prop for an Electric Stage (Light-Space Modulator) Other Titles Original Language Title: Lichtrequisit einer elektrischen Bühne Classification Sculpture Work Type sculpture Date 1930 Culture German Location Level 1, Room 1520, Modern and Contemporary Art, Art in Germany Between the Wars View this object's location on our interactive map Physical Descriptions Medium aluminum, steel, nickel-plated brass, other metals, plastic, wood and electric motor 9 of 13 Dimensions x 69.9 x 69.9 cm (59 1/2 x 27 1/2 x 27 1/2 in.) Provenance Sibyl Moholy-Nagy, gift; to Busch-Reisinger Museum, Acquisition and Rights Credit Line Harvard Art Museums/Busch-Reisinger Museum, Gift of Sibyl Moholy-Nagy Copyright Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / VG Bild- Kunst, Bonn Object Number BR56.5 Division Modern and Contemporary Art Contact Publication History Charles Werner Haxthausen, The Busch-Reisinger Museum, Harvard University, Abbeville Press (New York, NY, 1980), pp. 12, 61, repr. pp Kristin A. Mortimer, Harvard University Art Museums: A Guide to the Collections, Harvard University Art Museums/Abbeville Press (Cambridge, MA; New York, NY, 1985), no. 357, p. 301, repr. 10 of 13 Peter Nisbet and Emilie Norris, Busch-Reisinger Museum: History and Holdings, Harvard University Art Museums (Cambridge, MA, 1991), p. 67, ill. Robert Atkins, Artspoke: A guide to Modern Ideas, Movements, and Buzzwords, , Abbeville Press (New York, 1993), p. 69, b/w James Cuno, Harvard's Art Museums: 100 Years of Collecting, Harvard University Art Museums/Harry N. Abrams, Inc. (Cambridge, MA, 1996), pp , repr. color Seiyo Bijutsukan [The History of Western Art], Shogakukan Inc. (Tokyo, Japan, 1999), p. 1039, repr. in color Gary Garrels, ed., Celebrating Modern Art: The Anderson Collection, exh. cat., San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (San Francisco, CA, 2000), fig. 62, b/w illus. Peter Nisbet and Joseph Koerner, The Busch-Reisinger Museum, Harvard University Art Museums, ed. Peter Nisbet, Harvard University Art Museums and Scala Publishers Ltd. (Cambridge, MA and London, England, 2007), p. 119 Stephan Wolohojian, ed., Harvard Art Museum/ Handbook, Harvard Art Museum (Cambridge, MA, 2008), p. 207, ill. Peter Galison, Gerald Holton, and Silvan Schweber, ed., Einstein for the 21st Century, Princeton University Press (Princeton, New Jersey, 2008), pp. 112, 114, fig. 8.7, ill. Leah Dickerman and Barry Bergdoll, Bauhaus : Workshops for Modernity, exh. cat., ed. David Frankel, Museum of Modern Art, New York (New York, 2009), cat. no. 374, p. 275, color repr. Philip F. Palmedo, Lin Emery, Hudson Hills Press (Manchester, VT and New York, 2012), p , fig. 11 of 13 7.2, ill. Linda Henderson, The Fourth Dimension and Non- Euclidean Geometry in Modern Art, MIT Press (Cambridge, MA and London, England, 2013), p. 35, ill. (black and white) Matthew S. Witkovsky, Carol Eliel, and Carol Vail, ed., Moholy-Nagy: Future Present, exh. cat., The Art Institute of Chicago (Chicago, 2016), p. 190 Charles Werner Haxthausen, The Busch-Reisinger Museum, Harvard: the Germanic Tradition , Apollo (May 1978), vol. 107, no. 195, pp , p. 410, repr. p. 410 as fig. 7 Exhibition History 19th- and 20th-Century Paintings and Sculpture from the Museum's Collection, Busch-Reisinger Museum, Cambridge, 06/11/ /31/1980 Re-View: S118 European & American Art since 1900, Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Cambridge, 09/13/ /09/2011 Re-View: European and American Art Since 1900, Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Cambridge, 05/03/ /01/ Q: 1520 Art in Germany Between the Wars (Interwar and Bauhaus), Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 11/01/2014 Subjects and Contexts The Bauhaus This record has been reviewed by the curatorial staff but may be incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. For more information please 12 of 13 contact the Division of Modern and Contemporary Art at Generated on June 27, 2016 at 10:51pm 13 of 13
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