Art/ Collection/ Art Object

"Tizio" Table Lamp

Richard Sapper (German, born Munich, 1932)
Artemide S.p.A.
ABS plastic (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene copolymer), aluminum, metal alloy
4 1/4 in. × 30 in. × 30 in. (10.8 × 76.2 × 76.2 cm)
Credit Line:
Gift of Artemide S.p.A., Italy, 1988
Accession Number:
Not on view
With the "Tizio" lamp, designer Richard Sapper sought to redesign the standard desk lamp, creating one that was completely adjustable and featured a precise and intense yet small light source. After methodical experimentation, Sapper came up with a design wherein the very form of the lamp enabled its function. Using a sensitive counterweight system, the adjustable arm of the lamp can be manipulated into almost any position, allowing the user to direct the light source exactly where it is needed most. The arms themselves conduct electricity to the bulb, eliminating the need for extraneous wires and facilitating the precise balance of the arm. The lamp features a halogen bulb, marking one of the first uses of this type of light outside the automobile industry. Directed by its small reflector, the halogen bulb provides a highly concentrated, direct light source, which can be easily adjusted to suit the user.
the manufacturer, Milan (until 1988; their gift to MMA)

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "A Century of Design, Part III: 1950–1975," November 28, 2000–April 1, 2001, no catalogue.

R. Craig Miller. Modern Design in The Metropolitan Museum of Art 1890–1990. New York, 1990, ill. pp. 222–23 (color).

Hans Höger. The Tizio-Light by Richard Sapper. Frankfurt am Main, 1997.

Penny Sparke. "Tizio Table Lamp. Richard Sapper." Icons of Design! The 20th Century. Ed. Volker Albus, Reyer Kras, and Jonathan M. Woodham. Munich, 2000, pp. 144–45, ill. (color and bw).

Related Objects

Tantalo Clock

Artist: Richard Sapper (German, born Munich, 1932) Date: late 1960s–1970s Medium: White lacquer Accession: 1988.236.4 On view in:Not on view


Artist: Joris Laarman (Dutch, born Borculo, The Netherlands 1979) Date: 2007 Medium: Glass, aluminum, polycarbonate, steel and bulbs Accession: 2010.456 On view in:Not on view

Enorme Telephone

Artist: Ettore Sottsass (Italian (born Austria), Innsbruck 1917–2007 Milan) Date: 1986 Medium: ABS polymer casing Accession: 2017.170.1a–c On view in:The Met Floor 3

Table Lamp

Artist: Pattyn Products Co. (Detroit, Michigan) Date: ca. 1935 Medium: Aluminum, Bakelite, and glass Accession: 1998.537.42 On view in:Gallery 903