Gibson Lighting owner and founder Jim Gibson began his early career in the decorative and historic arts by working at both the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City and also the DeYoung Museum in San Francisco. From there, Jim started his own company known as Victorian Wood Refinishing, which focused on the interior and exterior restoration of San Francisco area Victorian homes. During this same time period, Jim formed a collaborative of talented and influential Bay Area artisans, specializing in many different aspects of restoration, including architectural building design, decorative painting and murals, handcrafted tiles and wallpapers. This guild of craftspeople, known as Artistic License, continues to exist and flourish in the Bay area and recently celebrated its 30 year anniversary.
Jim moved to San Diego in 1983 and continued his commercial and residential restoration work through his business known as Local Color. Numerous San Diego landmarks reflect his talent and expertise, such as the Villa Montezuma, Timken House, Graham Memorial Presbyterian Church, Christ Church and the Baby Del. Over the years, Jim has been recognized for his work in historic preservation and renovation with many awards from the Save Our Heritage Organization.
The year 1987 marked a turning point for Jim as his focus turned toward historic lighting. An unexpected phone call from a lighting collector led to Jim’s purchase of a significant collection of antique lighting fixtures. Gibson Lighting was opened in the same warehouse it occupies today and these initial seeds of inventory have steadily grown over 30 years to a diverse collection of more than a thousand pieces. Many clients remark that they could spend hours wandering among the chandeliers, sconces and table lamps that fill the museum-like store (link to interior shop pics). Gibson Lighting has evolved significantly since its inception in 1987. Antique lighting now reflects a much smaller focus, as compared with the custom design and fabrication of all styles of fixtures. The business serves homeowners, builders and designers by supplying custom-crafted fixtures of all styles to be showcased in residences, hotels, restaurants, retail stores, shopping centers, public and private universities, television productions, and city, state and federal buildings. Its clients include a full range of parties, from local homeowners to the White House historians of Washington, D.C.