The Yale University Art Gallery has resurrected the mesmerizing Lumia compositions by artist Thomas Wilfred – including a piece commissioned by the Museum of Modern Art in 1963 – as part of its exhibition Lumia: Thomas Wilfred and the Art of Light.
The retrospective exhibition features 15 of the artist's luminous projected images, what he coined "lumia." According to Yale News, conservators at Yale were tasked with restoring the lumias, most notably MoMA's "Lumia Suite, Opus 158," which was put in storage in 1980 after being on display for a decade and a half. The article explains that "Wilfred’s lumia are complicated mechanisms composed of mechanical, electrical, and reflective elements" that necessitated cleaning, replacing long-discontinued bulbs, reassembly, and synchronizing the moving parts, among other tasks.
The results of the arduous work are evident in the exhibition, though for those who can't make it to Yale before it closes, the gallery has posted the 15 lumias to YouTube, which are embedded here.
Lumia: Thomas Wilfred and the Art of Light is on display at the Yale University Art Gallery in New Haven, Connecticut, until 23 July 2017, after which it will travel to the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, DC.