Lighting designer Edison Avery Price died October 15 at his home in Brooklyn at the age of 79. According to his family, the cause of death was heart failure.
Price was known for his innovative fixture designs and minimal approach to lighting. He capitalized on the new style that emerged during the 1950s, which involved the creation of more stark spaces in New York City. He was involved in a number of high-profile projects: the lobby of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe's Seagram Building; Philip Johnson's Four Seasons restaurant and AT&T Building; and the East Wing of the National Gallery in Washington, which he worked on with I.M. Pei.
Price is credited with inventing glare-free recessed fixtures and track lighting systems. He is known as an inventor, designer, manufacturer, and lighting consultant. His obituary in The New York Times stated that Price "was widely recognized as the originator of the entire modern lighting industry."
The designer was born in Manhattan and attended the Birch Wathem high school. Price then went to work for the family company, Display Stage Lighting, at the age of17 because there was no money for college. That company had been started by his father, who died when Price was eight, and continued by his mother. After selling his interest in the family company, Price headed up Edison Price Lighting, which he ran for most of his career. But he gave up the company in 1981 after losing a family struggle for control (Edison Price has since been expanded by his daughter, Emma). Price then ran Nulux Lighting in Brooklyn. While he continued to design and manufacture, Price eventually stopped his consulting work.
Besides his lighting of architectural buildings and spaces, Price is known for his lighting of paintings and other art in more than 200 museums, including the Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum in New York, the Kimball Museum in Fort Worth, TX, and the Louvre in Paris.
In addition to his daughter, Price is survived by his wife, Laura; two other daughters, Delia and Charlotte Aaron; and four grandchildren.