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October 4, 2017
Allied News

521 Atelier Shares Tips on Illuminating Private Art Collections: Interview appears in Christie’s publication for collectors

By Rosemarie Fabien, PhD | Fabien Communications
Pied a terre in Manhattan for European art collectors (Jeffrey Totaro Photography)

Philadelphia, PA (October 2017) – An interview with lighting and interior designer Claudia Librett of 521 Atelier has appeared in Collectrium, the online publication for patrons of Christie’s auction house.

In “Collectrium Conversations: Illuminating Collections with Lighting Designer Claudia Librett,” Christie’s Anne Dayton invites Librett to discuss the process of lighting art in private homes. The publication is part of the Collectrium digital art collection management platform.

“When I’m lighting an art collection,” says Librett, “I’m thinking about daylight in the space, I’m thinking about the finishes and materials, and I’m thinking about where people might be sitting and what they might be doing. That kind of experience of dealing with art is very different from museums.”

Because the success of a project is equally determined by aesthetic and practical considerations, Librett’s training in interior design enhances her lighting design work and vice versa.

“We have to assess whatever limitations we have architecturally in the space,” says Librett. “Sometimes there are physical limitations – you have low ceilings or concrete slabs or it’s an old frame house and you don’t the full sets of plans.…The specification of control devices must be coordinated and conservation issues are important, especially for works on paper and for textiles.”

Librett learned to appreciate perspective, color and form at the Parsons School of Design, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Cooper Hewitt and from working with connoisseurs of art.

As she describes it, “One experience that stands out was lighting a black Nevelson for a collector. I said, ‘You know, I would like to use a subtle blue gel on the light.’ This was an unusual thing to suggest because it seems like a very theatrical effect. I said, ‘We’re not trying to make this black wood look like a different color, I just think that it will enrich the surface somehow.’ And the client stood there and he slowly smiled. He told me, ‘That’s what Louise said once.’ That was very gratifying.”

Librett is currently working on an important collection of modern art in Florida and is about to start a project with an Impressionism collection in Connecticut.

521 Atelier
An award-winning design firm, 521 Atelier provides lighting and interior design that reveals and enhances its clients’ vision, while being energy efficient and sustainable. Projects include work for preservation, civic, commercial, corporate, hospitality and residential clients. Visit

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