Harry Bertoia

Harry Bertoia


  • Birth: March 10, 1915
  • Died: November 6, 1978
  • Nationality: Italian

Diamond Chair

The Bertoia Collection is a set of beautiful wire chairs with natural simplicity, designed by Harry Bertoia for Knoll. An astounding study in space, form and function by one of the master sculptors of the last century.

Harry Bertoia was an Italian furniture designer and sculptor. At the Cass Technical High School in Detroit, he studied design and handmade jewelry making. He received a scholarship to study at the Cranbrook Academy of Art. Eero Saarinen later hired him to design a metal screen for the General Motors Technical Center in Detroit. After working for many years in jewelry making, Bertoia started using his knowledge of metalwork and sculpture to furniture design.

Bertoia Two-Tone Diamond Chair with Seat Cushion
by Harry Bertoia for Knoll

Working with Knoll, he designed five wire pieces now known as the “Bertoia Collection”, effectively transforming industrial wire rods into an iconic design element. The collection showcased his skilled use of metal latticework, as well as his unique sculptural sensibility.

Sound Sculpture

After the success of this Bertoia collection, he was able to devote himself entirely to sculpture. In particular, Bertoia became interested in “Sound Sculpture”, in which he manipulated metal to produce a sound so that it would respond in different tones to the wind, vibrations, or touch.  

Assistant Curator, Claire McRee discusses the progress and evolution of Harry Bertoia’s copper sonic sculptures throughout his career.

HHarry Bertoia Original and Replica Products