Posted on December 8, 2008 - by

Harry Bertoia

Harry Bertoia
(1915-1978)

Birthplace: San Lorenzo, Italy

Harry Bertoia was a sculptor, furniture designer and lecturer. Prior to his time at the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, he also studied at the Detroit Technical High School and the Detroit School of Arts and Crafts.

Cranbrook also became his place of work, he taught metal crafts at the Academy, during which time he met the iconic American designer Charles Eames. He assisted in the designing of Eames’ signature, moulded plywood chairs, and was soon commissioned to create a sculptured metal screen for the Detroit, General Motors Technical Centre by the equally legendary Eero Saarinen.

Bertoia was a hugely innovative talent, his introduction of wire rods as a material of furniture design revolutionised form and function in the designs of the period. In 1952 he patented his ‘Diamond Chair’ for Knoll International, a product that has since become regarded as a work of design genius. Among his many awards are the craftsmanship medal from the American Institute of Architects, and the prestigious AIA’s Gold Medal.

Today Knoll International still owns the rights to produce the Bertoia wire furniture collection under license, including the Bird Chair, Diamond Chair and Side Chair. So if it isn’t made by Knoll, it’s a copy.


Find Me The Original Bertoia Chair Video

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