Harry Bertoia

sculptor - designer (1915-1978)


Harry Bertoia was born in San Lorenzo (Udine) died in Pennsylvania in 1915 (Now U.S.) in 1978.

Sculptor, Italian-born Harry Bertoia was a member of the Cranbrook Academy of Art in this important institution are linked some of the most famous designers of the 900, including Eero Saarinen, Charles Eames, Ray Kaiser (Eames) and Florence Schust Knoll.

In 1930 he emigrated to the United States.

In 1936 he studied at the Technical College Class of Detroit, is responsible for jewelry design and painting.
Between 1937 1943 obtained a scholarship at the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan, where he established and directs the laboratory for processing of metals.

The forties began work on the project moving, Bertoia taught at Cranbrook in the same period when Charles Eames was director of the Department of Experimental Design.
The two designers will exchange knowledge and ideas with each other. Bertoia presents its sessions about a year after the release of the chair frame with wire Eames.

While using similar techniques and materials, the sessions of Harry Bertoia reach a plastic result entirely different from that which characterizes the Eames chair.

In 1943 he moved to California. with Charles Eames, collaborated in the experiments of shaping plywood splints for legs and parts of areoplano.

In 1950 he returned to Pennsylvania from Knoll invited by designing a series of chairs made of metal rod.

Harry Bertoia is internationally known for creating series of chairs, designed for Knoll, including: "Diamond Chair" and "Bird Chair" (1952), with wire mesh structure, is an icon of modern design thanks to ' introduction of new material, which never used in the creation of furniture.

Furniture by Bertoia, as well as his sculptures express his concept of art: a meeting point between form and space.
Its ultimate expression can be seen in "Bird Chair", where the chair is in the form of a bird with outstretched wings. Organic forms, translated into human form art.

Make a sculpture made of metal rod for the chapel of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

In 1953 Harry Bertoia Knoll and is a consultant to perform the activity as a sculptor.

In 1956 he received the "Craftsmanship Medal of the American Institute of Architets" and other major awards and teaching positions.

Harry Bertoia always considered himself a sculptor, but fails to transfer its experience in metal working in the field of design and applied arts, obtains results that mark its history.

Among the most significant projects of Harry Bertoia:

Asymmetric Chaise (1950) - Chaise - Knoll
Chair with structure in chromed steel rod and welded. Cushion upholstered furniture with leather or fabric in different colors.

Wire Chair (1952) - Chair - Knoll
Chair with structure in chromed steel rod and welded. Cushion upholstered furniture with leather or fabric in different colors.

Diamond (1952) - chair - Knoll
Armchair with structure in chromed steel rod and welded. Cushion upholstered furniture with leather or fabric in different colors.

Barstool - Stool in chromed steel rod and welded. Cushion upholstered furniture with leather or fabric in different colors.

Slat Bench - Bench - Knoll
Wood and metal