The Richard Kelly Grant

The Richard Kelly Grant

The Richard Kelly Grant

Richard Kelly devoted his life to extraordinary contributions to the lighting design profession. He was one of the pioneers of architectural lighting consulting.

His reverence for, and his understanding of, the behavior of light was promulgated as the design values known as: focal glow, sparkling brilliance, and ambient luminescence. He was a designer of over three hundred major projects; he worked with over eighty prominent architects; he always performed with original and inventive authority.

He sought to first understand the problem and then followed with a creative solution. His synthesis of technology with artistic purpose transformed the ordinary into beauty.

A few of his most recognized accomplishments are the Seagram Building, Mies van der Rohe and Philip Johnson, architects; Philip Johnson’s Glass House and The New York State Theater at Lincoln Center, Philip Johnson, architect; the Kimbell Museum of Fine Arts and the Yale Center of British Art and Studies, Louis Kahn, architect.

Richard Kelly passed away in 1977.


Checks in any amount can be made out to:
Illuminating Engineering Society
Attn: Richard Kelly Grant
120 Wall Street, 17th Floor
New York, NY 10005-4026



The Richard Kelly Grant was established by the New York Section of the Illuminating Engineering Society in 1980. Originally conceived as a scholarship program and later opened to young persons working in lighting in North America, the Grant is administered by the New York Section under the auspices of the IES.


To recognize and encourage creative thought and activity in the use of light. Cash award(s) will be granted to the person(s) who preserve and carry forth Richard Kelly’s ideals, enthusiasm and reverence for light.


Anyone 35 years or under, studying or working in the art and/or science of illumination, in the United States, Canada or Mexico.


Applicant must demonstrate accomplishment as well as the potential to contribute to the art and science of illumination. Proposed, completed, and on-going work involving light may be submitted and should clearly illustrate the way in which the conceptual or applied use of light in new and innovative ways is used to solve or better understand a problem.
The Grant Committee will consider works using light in:
• Architecture • Art • Education • Environmental Design • Health • Fixture Design • Software Design • Theater


Submissions must include:


Grant proposals must be submitted by June 30, 2021 to:
The Richard Kelly Grant
Illuminating Engineering Society
120 Wall Street, Floor 17
New York, NY 10005
(212) 248-5000
Include a stamped, self-addressed envelope for all submissions to be returned. Grant recipient applications become the property of the Richard Kelly Grant and may be used in Grant publicity materials.