How’d He Do That? A Behind-the-Scenes Look at Lumia

A study of light with green, orange, red, an yellow tones.

Thomas Wilfred, Lumia Suite, Op. 158, 1963–64. Projectors, reflector unit, electrical and lighting elements, and a projection screen; approx. 9 yrs., 127 days, 18 hrs. Museum of Modern Art, New York, Mrs. Simon Guggenheim Fund, 582.1964. Photo: Courtesy Yale University Art Gallery 

December 28, 2017


Scott Rosenfeld is a Lighting Designer at the museum. This post is part of an occasional series where SAAM experts take you behind-the-scenes as they investigate a work of art.

The exhibition, Lumia: Thomas Wilfred and the Art of Light, gives visitors a rare look at the artworks created by Thomas Wilfred that use light as their medium. I was fortunate to work with Eugene and A.J. Epstein, passionate collectors of Lumia, during the installation period to learn how Wilfred choreographed these dazzling displays of colored light. I was particularly impressed with Wilfred’s signature artist mark: the projection of a lightbulb’s filament. I decided to see what I could uncover, and am excited to share this short video that demonstrates what is happening behind Wilfred's magical and mysterious Lumia screens.



Your last chance to see Wilfred’s work in person is January 7, 2018, when the exhibition must close!


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