Renaissance of Midgard’s TYP 113 Adjustable Table Lamp

Renaissance of Midgard’s TYP 113 Adjustable Table Lamp

Ameico and German brand Midgard have brought back an icon: Curt Fischer’s TYP 113 Clamp Lamp, one of the first patented adjustable lamps—on both sides of the Atlantic.

Midgard TYP 113 detail of shade and stem

The distinction is important because of TYP 113’s connection to the Bauhuas, which in turn requires a bit more backstory.

Midgard TYP 113 shade and stem with clamp on desk

The genesis of TYP 113 was Curt Fischer’s interest in the lighting conditions of factories in his town, as he’d heard workers complain that harsh direct overhead lighting were casting shadows and creating glare that often made it impossible to perform detailed tasks. Fischer’s solution was TYP 113, an adjustable lamp that could be positioned at nearly any angle, affectionately known in Fischer’s native tongue as “peitschenleuchte” (loose translation: “whip light”).

Midgard TYP 113 detail of clamp and adjusting mechanism

Peitschenleuchte soon drew the attention of none other than Walter Gropius, who used it throughout the Dessau school, thus incorporating it into Bauhaus history and mystique.

Midgard TYP 113 in Chicago Bauhaus director's office
New Bauhaus Chicago, László Moholy-Nagy’s directors’ office (1938). Interior design and pictures at the wallby Moholy-Nagy, desk lamp Midgard TYP 113. Photography: Henry Holmes Smith© Christopher Smith, Bauhaus-Archiv, Berlin.

Soon after, when Gropius, Hannes Meyer, and Lyonel Feiniger left the Bauhaus, they took their TYP 113s with them, hence the lamp’s appearance across the pond: in New York, Chicago, and Lincoln, MA.

Midgard TYP 113in Lionel Feininger's apartment in New York
Lyonel Feininger: Photo of the unfinished painting “Storm brewing” (1939) with Midgard TYP 113 lamp in Feininger’s studio apartment in New York, Harvard Art Museums/Busch-Reisinger Museum, Gift of Theodore Lux Feininger© Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / VGBild-Kunst, Bonn 2019
Midgard TYP 113 in child's room at Walter Gropius house
Gropius House, Lincoln, Massachusetts (1938), architects Walter Gropius and Marcel Breuer, child’s room/guest room with Bauhaus directors’ desk by Gropius and Midgard TYP 113 lamp. Photography: Paul Davis, Walter Gropius: © Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2019, Bauhaus-Archiv, Berlin.

In 2019, to mark the 100th. anniversary of Fischer’s lamp, Midgard produced a limited run of 100 TYP 113s, faithful reproductions using original techniques and materials, all procured in Germany: from the spun-aluminum enameled shade to the nickeled pipe adjustable stem to the bakelite socket and turning switch, the latter remarkably sourced from Midgard’s supply of NOS or “New Old Stock” of 100 original pieces that had been in storage for 100 years.

Midgard TYP 113 on slim desk with chair in white room

Midgard will be showcasing the re-issued TYP 113 at ICFF next month. They’ll also have a vintage original version on display. Find out more at Ameico and Midgard.

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