Posted by: Frederick Cornwell Sanders | 2013/12/03

“December 3, ” by Rick Sanders

Image of a neon filled discharge tube shaped l...

Image of a neon filled discharge tube shaped like the element’s atomic symbol “Ne”. Example of neon lighting. The letter “N” is about 0.3 m tall. Deutsch: Leuchtendes Neon-Plasma: Mit Neon gefüllte Entladungsröhre, die das Chemische Zeichen des Elements formen. Beispiel von einer Neonröhre. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It is on this date in 1910 that modern neon lighting is first demonstrated by Georges Claude at the Paris Motor Show. It quickly became popular for signage in commercial uses. Overuse and the lack of maintenance bought it out of favor. The Post Modern movement brought neon back into vogue in the late 1970s.

Several museums in the United States are now devoted to neon lighting and art, including the Museum of Neon Art (founded by neon artist Lili Lakich, Los Angeles, 1981), the Neon Museum (Las Vegas, founded 1996), the American Sign Museum (Cincinnati, founded 1999), and the Neon Museum of Philadelphia (founded by Len Davidson, Philadelphia, 1985). These museums restore and display historical signage that was originally designed as advertising, in addition to presenting exhibits of neon art. Several books of photographs have also been published to draw attention to neon lighting as art. In 1994, Christian Schiess has published an anthology of photographs and interviews devoted to fifteen “light artists”.

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