Harry Bertoia

Bertoia Signature - Harry Bertoia

Harry Bertoia, born Arri Bertoia in San Lorenzo, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy, in 1925 was sculptor, printmaker, and jewelry and furniture designer best known for his monumental architectural sculptures and classic Bertoia Diamond chair. After immigrating to Detroit at age 15, he studied art and design at Cass Technical High School and drawing and painting at the Detroit Society of Arts and Crafts.

"What is that sound coming from the Johnson Museum? It's a pingy type sound that I guess could be some kind of wind chime but it seems like it's coming from the building itself."

Harry Bertoia

His sculpture evolved from jewelry and were cleverly designed to be activated by the wind or by hand to produce pleasing metallic or airy sound patterns. Solo exhibitions of Bertoia's works on paper and sculptures were held at the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. (1943); Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, Connecticut (1974); Art Institute of Chicago (1975); and Muhlenberg College's Martin Art Gallery, Allentown, Pennsylvania (1975), which awarded him an honorary doctorate in 1975