Harry Bertoia, ‘Necklace’, ca. 1942, Museum of Arts and Design

"Bent, Cast & Forged: The Jewelry of Harry Bertoia" at Museum of Arts and Design, 2016

Collection of Cranbrook Art Museum
Gift of Dorothy Dunitz in memory of Saul Dunitz

About Harry Bertoia

Harry Bertoia’s oeuvre encompasses sound sculptures, furniture, and jewelry design. A successful designer at the mid-century furniture company Knoll, Bertoia famously designed their “Diamond chair”, a delicate and airy steel-framed chair introduced in 1952 and still sold today. He would later devote his artistic energy towards innovative sculpture, finding ways to bend and stretch metal so that when crossed with wind or touch, it would create different sounds. Many of Bertoia's “tonal sculptures” were commissioned for established institutions and as public art displays. He has also performed concerts with these pieces, even recording a series of albums known as “Sonambient” music. From a young age Bertoia was friends with other prominent designers such as Walter Gropius and Ray and Charles Eames, and he regularly designed jewelry for his friends.

Italian-American, 1915-1978, San Lorenzo, Italy

Exhibition Highlights

2014
GRAHAM, 
New York,
Bertoia: The Sonambients