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Harry Bertoia

Photo by m.bibelot

Photo by m.bibelot

Harry Bertoia (1915 – 1978), an Italian-born furniture designer and sculptor, attended Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, where he later taught painting and metal crafts between 1937 and 1943. He then worked with Charles Eames in California to assist in developing Eames’s molded plywood chairs. In 1950, he joined Knoll Associates and developed his signature piece, the Diamond chair. Often referred to as the Bertoia chair, the Diamond chair was innovative and unique. Bertoia used the new material, industrial wire rods – polished or vinyl coated, for the main body and covered it with cotton or Naugahyde upholstery.


Bertoia was also well known for his talent in sculpture. He created many monumental architectural pieces in public places such as the large copper and bronze fountain for the Philadelphia Civic Center in Pennsylvania, the bronze sculpture at Dulles International Airport near Washington, D.C, and decorative metal sculptured screens for major companies and educational institutions.

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