About this artwork
William Arthur Smith Benson’s novel designs in brass, copper, and iron forged a link between late-19th-century Arts and Crafts aesthetics and industrial production. Though he was a friend and business associate of William Morris—the leader of a movement advocating handcrafted rather than machine-made goods—Benson saw the possibilities of mass production and founded his own factory in 1880, equipped with the latest machines to streamline the manufacturing process. He created innovative designs for everything from chandeliers, electric lamps, and fireplace accessories to such newly invented modern conveniences as the electric kettle. Rather than relying on elaborate decoration for effect, Benson took advantage of the inherent reflective qualities of his materials. The polished metal surface of these wall sconces would have enhanced the light from the candles they held.
- William Arthur Smith Benson (Designer)
- Wall Sconce (One of a Pair)
- Made 1880–1900
- Copper and brass
- 27.9 × 29.2 × 22.9 cm (11 × 11 1/2 × 9 in.)
- Anonymous gift