Collection: Richard Barr

Richard G. “Dick” Barr, an acclaimed American sculptor and artist, left an indelible mark on the world of mid-century modern design. With a career spanning decades, Barr's innovative creations graced the portfolios of esteemed companies such as Westinghouse Electric Co., Thomasville Furniture, and J. Gordon Perlmutter & Associates. However, it was his collaboration with the Laurel Lamp Company that truly solidified his legacy in the realm of vintage lamps from the 1960s.

Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Barr's artistic journey began at Carnegie Mellon University, where he earned a BA in Industrial Design in 1951. After serving in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War, Barr honed his craft at Westinghouse Electric, contributing to the design of television cabinets before venturing into the realm of lighting design.

In the early 1960s, Barr relocated to Watchung, New Jersey, joining J. Gordon Perlmutter & Associates as the head of the Industrial Design Division. It was during this time that Barr's path intersected with Laurel Lamp Company co-founder Harold Weiss, sparking a fruitful collaboration that would shape the future of mid-century modern lighting.

Barr's visionary designs for Laurel, including his iconic "Studio Collection" and the groundbreaking "ac’cent lamps" often called mushroom lamps, showcased his unparalleled creativity and technical prowess. Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, Barr's contributions to Laurel's diverse lamp collections solidified his reputation as a primary designer for the company.

Beyond his work with Laurel, Barr's influence extended to other notable furniture and homeware companies, including Thomasville Furniture, Ethan Allen, and the Hager Lamp Company. Despite his passing in 2003, Barr's legacy lives on through his timeless creations, each vintage lamp bearing testament to his enduring impact on mid-century modern design.