About Us | Nova of California

Free Standard Shipping on all orders in the U.S.

About Us

About Novaofcalifornia

We want to fill homes across the world
with the warmth of California living.

NOVA of California is a lighting and decor company that creates original design with a California Modern edge. Founded in 1923, NOVA of California is the oldest lighting company in North America.

Our Story

Our Story

FOUNDED & GROUNDED

NOVA was founded in 1923 by three brothers with the vision of bringing light and warmth to their fellow Brooklynites. The business thrived through the depression years and NOVA was able to open showrooms in High Point, NC, the NY Furniture Exchange and America’s Furniture Mart in Chicago. Two of the brothers, Israel Langbaum and David Moscowitz spent much of their time selling the line on the road, while Murray Moskowitz ran the factory in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn. The designs were functional, purposeful and built to last. Their mission was solving real world problems, while making homes warmer and cozier.

Our Roots

RETAIL IS IN OUR HERITAGE

After World War II, the Brooklyn plant was expanded into a vertically-integrated operation, adding electroplating, painting and assembly. This allowed in-house designers to developed fully realized lamp lines and allowed for custom product to be designed for retailers, including JC Penney, Sears, and Polk Bros.

In the mid-1950s, NOVA purchased Kirkwood Industries to further expand retail production lines, Mel Moskowitz, son of David Moskowitz, relocated to the West Coast to run Kirkwood with his wife Marilyn, which began operating as NOVA of California or NOVA MELMAR in 1956.

NOVA of California - History
Our Product

Our Product

PRODUCT IS OUR PURPOSE

In 1962, Mel Moskowitz and his Design Director, Peter Morelli, visited the Salon de Mobile in Milan where they met Achille and Pier Giancomo Castiglioni who were introducing their new Arco lamp, essentially a portable structure on which to hang a pendant. Peter brought home a sample of the Arco and begin to design a range of arc lamps for an American audience. He increased the scale, added wood elements and multiple arms, shrunk the shades and included swivels.

Morelli expanded the wood working operation and began experimenting with a bendable plywood (Italian popular) that allowed him to create arches in wood. By 1970, NOVA had become known as the “King of Arc lamps”.

Our Future

REBIRTH & A CENTURY OF DESIGN

Daniel Edelist, acquired the iconic California lighting brand in 1993 and soon brought back Peter Morelli as the Design Director. He also hired Larry Langbaum, the son of the founder, as part of the sales team in the NY metro area. Don Chadwick and Tom Newhouse, renown designers at Herman Miller, consulted with Daniel in the first years and helped to guide the NOVA design program and stressed the importance of maintaining a point of view while building a brand. When Peter Morelli passed in 1999, Mervyn Weitz joined the team as its Creative Director. Mervyn had been a legend in the California lighting scene since the 1950’s and had a strong background in woodworking and industrial design. Weitz created many of NOVA’s best-selling and most unique designs that continue selling to this day.

Mervyn was a dynamo and worked with NOVA until his death at age 80. He was excited by what he could create in the modern era with global manufacturing and the rise of LED lighting. The rise of LED technology has created a sea change in the lighting industry and has opened up a new world to the NOVA’s design team as they work with a new optimism exploring new illumination ideas, smart technology and interactivity.

Nova of california future