Archival Collections
Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library

Abe H. Feder lighting records and papers, 1930s-1990s 

Feder, Abe H,
Phys. Desc: 
1 Linear Feet (drawings); 1 Linear Feet (papers); 1 Linear Feet (photographs)
Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library
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Biographical Note

Abe Feder was an architectural and theatrical lighting design engineer, practicing in New York City from the 1930s until the early 1990s. He was born on July 27, 1908 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and studied architecture at the Carnegie Institute in Pittsburgh, but left after his sophomore year. Feder worked briefly for the Goodman Theatre in Chicago before moving to New York City in 1930, where he began to establish his reputation as an innovative designer in such theatrical productions as Virgil Thompson's "Four Saints in Three Acts" and Orson Welles' "Dr. Faustus" the latter through the WPA's Federal Theatre Project. After World War II, he opened his own business, Lighting by Feder, in New York City and began to light built structures in addition to stage productions, becoming one of the most prominent architectural lighting designers in the United States. His projects ranged in size from small urban apartments to international airports, with many related bulb and fixture designs that are now standards in the industry. Feder is recognized as a founder of the lighting design profession in the U.S. and wrote and lectured widely on the subject. Feder was appointed the first president of the International Association of Lighting Designers (IALD) and was named a Fellow of the Illuminating Engineering Society of America. Feder was also inducted into the Theatre Hall of Fame in New York City in 1996. He died in New York City on April 24, 1997.