MT8 table lamp, Wilhelm Wagenfeld

MT8 table lamp, Wilhelm Wagenfeld

MT8 table lamp
 Wilhelm Wagenfeld
Germany
1924
Museum no. M.628-1989

The Bauhaus believed in bringing art and technology together, exactly as they had been in medieval cathedrals. According to Walter Gropius, 'each object should fulfil its function in a practical way and be long-lasting, affordable and beautiful'. The strictest observers of this creed were in the school's metal workshop, whose 'Form-Meister' was the characterful Hungarian, László Moholy-Nagy. Here Carl Jacob Jucker and Wilhelm Wagenfeld designed this lamp in 1924. It is one of the purest expressions of Bauhaus theory: geometrical shapes and industrial materials with no concessions to decoration or frivolity. But there were paradoxes. The elementary forms were, in practice, difficult to manufacture and production was soon shifted outside the Bauhaus' workshops. The lamp is still made today, a quaint relic of a movement that believed in dogmatic, simple truths.

Stephen Bayley, Guest Curator