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Harry Bertoia

American, 1915-1978


Harry Bertoia

Untitled (Monotype), c. 1958

Hand-printed ink on rice paper
23 1/2 x 38 1/2 in
60 x 98 cm

Harry Bertoia

Untitled (Sonambient), c. 1965

Beryllium copper and brass
19 x 6 3/4 x 5 3/4 in
48 x 17 x 15 cm

Harry Bertoia

Untitled (Bush), c. 1975

Bronze and copper
10 x 11 1/2 x 11 1/2 in
25 x 29 x 29 cm

Harry Bertoia

Untitled (Sonambient), c. 1977

Inconel, beryllium copper and brass
14 1/4 x 6 1/2 x 3 in
36 x 17 x 8 cm

Harry Bertoia

Untitled (Sonambient), c. 1975

Beryllium copper and brass
22 1/4 x 7 x 7 in
57 x 18 x 18 cm

Harry Bertoia

Untitled (Bundled Wire Form), c. 1965

Stainless steel and steel wire
32 x 8 x 7 in
81 x 20 x 18 cm

Harry Bertoia

Untitled (Shot Fusion), c. 1970

Patinated bronze
11 x 12 1/2 x 11 3/4 in
28 x 32 x 30 cm


Harry Bertoia was born Arieto Bertoia in San Lorenzo, Italy on March 10, 1915. Bertoia attended school in Italy until the age of 15 when he accompanied his father to Michigan to see his brother, Oreste. After finishing high school in Detroit, Bertoia received a scholarship to the Detroit Society of Arts and Crafts, where he studied drawing and painting. In 1937, he attended the Cranbrook Academy of Art. In 1939, he was asked to stay on at Cranbrook Academy to teach metalwork. In 1943, Cranbrook Academy of Art closed its doors and Bertoia moved to California. While there, he worked with Charles Eames and Ray Eames on projects that involved sculpting molded plywood. Bertoia held his first exhibition at the San Francisco Museum of Art in 1945. In 1950, he moved to Pennsylvania to work with Hans Knoll. It was during this time that Bertoia designed the Bertoia Diamond Chair series, which is still produced by Knoll. In 1953, General Motors commissioned Bertoia to complete an architectural sculpture, which became his first of many.Some of Bertoia’s more notable architectural sculptures include “View of Earth From Space”, designed for the Dulles International Airport; “Waves”, designed for the Philadelphia Civic Center; and “Sounding”, a fountain piece designed to sit in front of the Standard Oil building in Chicago. Bertoia was multifaceted in metal sculpture, furniture design, jewelry, and printmaking. Bertoia is in the collection of many famous museums, galleries and collections including MoMA, Whitney, Metropolitan, Guggenheim, Smithsonian, MIT, MAD, and Hirshhorn Museum.