Harry Bertoia (Italian American, 1915-1978)

Sculptor, furniture and jewelry designer, graphic artist and metalsmith, Harry Bertoia was one of the great cross-disciplinarians of 20th-century art and design and a central figure in American modernism. Among furniture aficionados he is known for the wire-lattice “Diamond” chair (and its variants such as the tall-backed “Bird” chair) designed for Knoll Inc. and first released in 1952. As an artist, Bertoia is revered for a style that was his alone. Bertoia’s metal sculptures are by turns expressive and austere, powerful and subtle, intimate in scale and monumental. All embody a tension between the intricacy and precision of Bertoia’s forms and the raw strength of his materials: steel, brass, bronze and copper.

     Fortune seemed to guide Bertoia’s artistic development. Born in northeastern Italy, Bertoia immigrated to the United States at age 15, joining an older brother in Detroit. He studied drawing and metalworking in the gifted student program at Cass Technical High School. Recognition led to awards that culminated, in 1937, in a teaching scholarship to attend the Cranbrook Academy of Art in suburban Bloomfield Hills, one of the great crucibles of modernism in America. There, Bertoia made friendships — with architect Eero Saarinen, designers Charles and Ray Eames and Florence Schust Knoll and others — that shaped the course of his life. He taught metalworking at Cranbrook, and when materials rationing during World War II limited the availability of metals, Bertoia focused on jewelry design. He also experimented with monotype printmaking, and 19 of his earliest efforts were bought by the Guggenheim Museum.

     In 1943, he left Cranbrook to work in California with the Eameses, helping them develop their now-famed plywood furniture. (Bertoia received scant credit.) Late in that decade, Florence and Hans Knoll persuaded him to move east and join Knoll Inc. His chairs became, and remain, perennial bestsellers. Royalties allowed Bertoia to devote himself full-time to metal sculpture, a medium he began to explore in earnest in 1947.

     By the early 1950s Bertoia was receiving commissions for large-scale works from architects — the first came via Saarinen — as he refined his aesthetic vocabulary into two distinct skeins. One comprises his “sounding sculptures” — gongs and “Sonambient” groupings of rods that strike together and chime when touched by hand or by the wind. The other genre encompasses Bertoia’s naturalistic works: abstract sculptures that suggest bushes, flower petals, leaves, dandelions or sprays of grass. As you will see on these pages, Harry Bertoia was truly unique; his art and designs manifest a wholly singular combination of delicacy and strength.

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Pair of Smaller Black Wire Bertoia Children's Chairs with Yellow Fabric by Knoll
Pair of Smaller Black Wire Bertoia Children's Chai...
Harry Bertoia, Knoll International
Vintage 1980s Mid-Century Modern Chairs
Pair of black metal Bertoia childs chairs with yellow the original Naugahyde pillows. This pair is smaller than most of the children's chairs available. $125 flat rate front door del...
Diamond Chair by Harry Bertoia for Knoll, 1960s
Harry Bertoia
Vintage 1950s Mid-Century Modern Club Chairs
Metal, Fabric
Diamond chair designed by Harry Bertoia for Knoll in 1952. The chair has its original full fabric cobalt blue cover in excellent condition. The white frame is also superb. An iconic ch...
Set of Four Harry Bertoia Canary Yellow "Shell" Ch...
Knoll, Harry Bertoia
Vintage 1960s American Mid-Century Modern Dining Room Chairs
Steel, Fiberglass
A rare set of four yellow fiberglass hard shell chairs on steel frames designed by Harry Bertoia for Knoll. This set has been used daily for over 50 years so they have color loss, fadin...
Vintage Bird Chair and Ottoman by Harry Bertoia fo...
Knoll, Harry Bertoia
Mid-20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Chairs
Steel, Wool
The 'Bird' chair was designed by Harry Bertoia for Knoll in 1952. This piece probably dates from the 1970s. Classic midcentury accent chair. Charcoal black removable upholstery on black...
Pair of Bertoia Diamond Chairs
By Knoll, Harry Bertoia
Pair of Bertoia Diamond Chairs
Knoll, Harry Bertoia
Mid-20th Century Mid-Century Modern Lounge Chairs
Pair of Bertoia for Knoll diamond chairs. Iconic midcentury design, no damage, welds or repairs. Measure: Seat height 16.
Untitled monotype by Harry Bertoia
Untitled monotype by Harry Bertoia
Harry Bertoia
Vintage 1960s American Prints
Iconic American designer Harry Bertoia began creating his first monotypes in the 1940s as a way to more freely express his ideas for bronze sculpture. He would proceed to create monotyp...
Important 1950s Harry Bertoia "Design of Wire Form...
Harry Bertoia
Vintage 1950s American Mid-Century Modern Sculptures
Stainless Steel
This remarkable piece consisting of 68 expandable stainless wires offers a glimpse into the genius of Harry Bertoia’s design process. This early design wire form sculpture, made by Harr...
Large Harry Bertoia Monoprint
Large Harry Bertoia Monoprint
Harry Bertoia
Vintage 1970s American Expressionist Prints
Paper
Large monoprint by Harry Bertoia. Provenance: Bertoia Family; Collection, New York. Work is initialed and marked. Dimensions: 12 H, 38.5" W; 15.5" H, 42.25" W frame. Materials: Co...
Harry Bertoia Black Metal Chairs with Black Leathe...
Harry Bertoia
Vintage 1960s American Mid-Century Modern Chairs
Steel, Leather
Set of four Harry Bertoia black metal chairs with black leather upper and lower pads, circa 1960s. Excellent condition. Manufactured by Knoll.
Rare Size Knoll Bertoia Slat Bench
Rare Size Knoll Bertoia Slat Bench
Harry Bertoia
Vintage 1970s American Mid-Century Modern Benches
Chrome
Artist and furniture designer, Harry Bertoia's career began in the 1930s as a student at the Cranbrook Academy of Art where he re-established the metal-working studio and, taught as hea...
Harry Bertoia Bird Chair and Ottoman by Knoll
Harry Bertoia Bird Chair and Ottoman by Knoll
Knoll, Harry Bertoia
Vintage 1960s American Mid-Century Modern Lounge Chairs
Upholstery, Rubber, Steel
This early bird chair and ottoman by Harry Bertoia for Knoll has a frame of chromed steel and a vivid blue cover. The fame is the cleanest we've ever seen and the fabric is in great ori...
Large Harry Bertoia Bush Sculpture, 1973
Large Harry Bertoia Bush Sculpture, 1973
Harry Bertoia
Vintage 1970s American Mid-Century Modern Sculptures
Bronze, Copper
Large Harry Bertoia bush form with rare red vertical "blossom" in centre. Very dense branches, thick stem and an undulating surface, USA, 1973 Patinated bronze branches with bu...
Set of six 1960s Harry Bertoia Side Chairs for Kno...
Knoll, Harry Bertoia
Vintage 1960s American Mid-Century Modern Side Chairs
Metal
Set of six 1960s wire mesh side chairs by Harry Bertoia for Knoll. Chairs have their original seat pads and most have their original slides. Price is for the set.
Iconic Harry Bertoia for Knoll International Spray...
Harry Bertoia
Vintage 1970s American Mid-Century Modern Sculptures
Stainless Steel
Iconic sculpture by Bertoia, steel rods on stainless steel 6" x 6" base. Made for Knoll.
Pair of Child's Chairs by Harry Bertoia for Knoll
By Harry Bertoia, H. G. Knoll and Associates
Pair of Child's Chairs by Harry Bertoia for Knoll
Harry Bertoia, H. G. Knoll and Associates
Vintage 1950s American American Modern Chairs
Original pair of child's chairs #425. Designed in 1955. Welded steel tops and steel rod bases.
Dynamic Spray Sculpture by Harry Bertoia
Dynamic Spray Sculpture by Harry Bertoia
Harry Bertoia
Vintage 1960s Belgian Mid-Century Modern Sculptures
Metal
This dynamic spray sculpture was created by Harry Bertoia and can be dated in the 1960s. The wire “spray” is fixed in a cylindrical chrome base. This mobile sculpture moves through the...
Large Harry Bertoia Spray Sculpture
Harry Bertoia
Vintage 1970s American Mid-Century Modern Sculptures
Metal, Wire, Marble
A fine example of Harry Bertoia's for Knoll iconic Kinetic spray sculpture. Rare example on black marble base. Not signed.
Pair of Harry Bertoia Bar Stools for Knoll
Harry Bertoia
Vintage 1970s Italian Mid-Century Modern Stools
Leather
Stylish set of two vintage bar stools designed by Harry Bertoia for Knoll. Black leather seat pads. Condition is excellent. Black leather seat pads. Seat height is 30 inches.
Harry Bertoia for Knoll International, Bird Chair with Ottoman
Harry Bertoia for Knoll International, Bird Chair ...
Harry Bertoia, Knoll International
20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Armchairs
Fabric, Wire
Bertoia wire bird chair with ottoman. Original fabric cushion in place. Cushion is connected to the wire with hooks and pins. All pieces have seen little use over the years. Wire pa...
Bertoia Diamond Chairs with Black Wool Pads by Kno...
Harry Bertoia
Vintage 1970s American Mid-Century Modern Chairs
Stainless Steel, Wool
Harry Bertoia diamond chair with black wool pad manufactured by Knoll. Stainless steel and welded steel rod construction. Two chairs available. Price is per chair. Measure: Seat height ...
Bertoia Diamond Chair by Knoll International
Harry Bertoia
Vintage 1970s American Mid-Century Modern Chairs
Stainless Steel
1972 Harry Bertoia diamond chair by Knoll International. Excellent condition. Original pad retained if desired to use as template to make new pad. Measures: Seat height is 14 inches.
Set of 4 Diamond Wire Side Chair by Harry Bertoia ...
Harry Bertoia, Knoll International
Vintage 1950s German Mid-Century Modern Chairs
Metal
Set of four Diamond wire side chair by Harry Bertoia for Knoll International, 1962 Harry Bertoia's wire chairs are the famous model of Mid-Century Modern design.
16 Original Vintage Harry Bertoia for Knoll Black ...
Knoll, Harry Bertoia
Vintage 1960s American Mid-Century Modern Side Chairs
Steel
1950s-1960s Original Harry Bertoia for Knoll Indoor Outdoor Black Wire Side Chairs. Enameled Black Wire. Complete with two-piece Black vinyl seat and back cushions. Foam needs replaceme...
Original Harry Bertoia “Diamond” Chair
Original Harry Bertoia “Diamond” Chair
Knoll, Harry Bertoia
Mid-20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Chairs
Steel, Paint
Original Harry Bertoia "Diamond" chair for Knoll, distressed industrial finish.
Pair of Harry Bertoia for Knoll Associates Diamond Armchairs in Original Fabric
Pair of Harry Bertoia for Knoll Associates Diamond...
Harry Bertoia, H. G. Knoll and Associates
Vintage 1960s American Mid-Century Modern Armchairs
Metal, Fabric
A gorgeous pair of Bertoia diamond arm chairs retaining their original covering and enamel paint surfaces, the pair remains in outstanding condition. Originally designed by Harry Bertoi...
Mid-Century Modern Bertoia Diamond Chair by Knoll ...
Knoll, Harry Bertoia
Vintage 1970s American Mid-Century Modern Lounge Chairs
Metal
Rocking diamond chair Designed by Harry Bertoia for Knoll Associates USA, d 1952 / circa 1970s Reupholstered in faux leather + black powder coat frame. Measures: 27 ½" H x 44 ¼" W x...
Mid-Century Modern Knoll Diamond Bertoia Chair Reu...
Knoll, Harry Bertoia
Vintage 1970s American Mid-Century Modern Lounge Chairs
Metal, Faux Leather
Diamond chair Designed by Harry Bertoia for Knoll USA, d 1952 / c 1970s Reupholstered in faux leather + chrome 30 ⅝" h x 33 ⅜" w x 27 ¾" d x seat 16 ¼" h
Mid-Century Harry Bertoia Diamond Chair and Ottoma...
Knoll, Harry Bertoia
Vintage 1960s American Mid-Century Modern Lounge Chairs
Metal
Knoll started production of Harry Bertoia's Diamond chair in the early 1950s. Since then it has become one of the most iconic designs of Mid-Century Modernism. The welded black steel fr...
Exceptional Large Bronze Gong by Harry Bertoia
Harry Bertoia
Vintage 1970s American Mid-Century Modern Contemporary Art
Bronze
A truly incredible example of Harry Bertoia's iconic gong sculpture. As expressive as any I have seen and with an unrivalled patina. With perfect long lasting sound. Never befor...
Set of Three Barstools by Harry Bertoia for Knoll
Set of Three Barstools by Harry Bertoia for Knoll
Harry Bertoia
21st Century and Contemporary American Mid-Century Modern Stools
Chrome
Trio of Bertoia barstools chrome with black seat cushions. Original Knoll label on verso.
Harry Bertoia Diamond Chair and Ottoman for Knoll
Harry Bertoia Diamond Chair and Ottoman for Knoll
Harry Bertoia
Vintage 1960s American Mid-Century Modern Chairs
Steel
Since Harry Bertoia's Diamond chair was produced by Knoll in the 1950s these wire chairs have become one of the most iconic designs of Mid-Century Modernism. Both the pair of chairs and...
Harry Bertoia, A Childs Chair By Knoll
Harry Bertoia, A Childs Chair By Knoll
Harry Bertoia
Mid-20th Century Mid-Century Modern Chairs
Metal
Harry Bertoia (Italian, 1915-1978) a child's chair By Knoll.
Val Bertoia "Double Vertical Spray Sculpture," Ste...
Harry Bertoia, Val Bertoia
21st Century and Contemporary American Sculptures
Brass, Stainless Steel
Contemporary artist Val Bertoia's "Double Vertical Spray Sculpture". This Kinetic sculpture was made by cutting one grouping of stainless-steel wires that were made by Harry Bertoia (ci...
Pair of Harry Bertoia High Back 'Bird Chairs', Knoll International
Pair of Harry Bertoia High Back 'Bird Chairs', Kno...
Harry Bertoia, Knoll International
Mid-20th Century Mid-Century Modern Chairs
Chrome
A stunning pair of Harry Bertoia high back Bird Chairs designed for Knoll International, steel and chrome diamond wire base, upholstered in Red Hallingdal 65 0680 by Kvadrat, these chai...
Harry Bertoia monotype
By Harry Bertoia
Harry Bertoia monotype
Harry Bertoia
Vintage 1960s American Mid-Century Modern Prints
Monotype by Harry Bertoia, initialed and numbered 1860 on rice paper set mounted in oiled walnut frame. From the Bertoia Family collection. A beautiful rendering of his sculptures ideas...
Pair of Harry Bertoia Bird Chairs for Knoll Intern...
Harry Bertoia
Vintage 1950s American Mid-Century Modern Lounge Chairs
Pair of Harry Bertoia bird chairs for Knoll International. White wired seating frame on black base. USA, 1960s edition. The Bird chair is an astounding study in space, form and...
Val Bertoia "S for Sound Sculpture", Sonambient Series, 2014
Val Bertoia "S for Sound Sculpture", Sonambient Se...
Harry Bertoia, Val Bertoia
21st Century and Contemporary American Mid-Century Modern Sculptures
Brass, Bronze
Contemporary artist Val Bertoia's 'S for Sound Sculpture' is part of the Bertoia Sonambient series. This 2014 piece is inscribed B-1762 on the side of base and is sold with a Title of A...
Val Bertoia Corner Sound Sculpture, 2008
By Harry Bertoia, Val Bertoia
Val Bertoia Corner Sound Sculpture, 2008
Harry Bertoia, Val Bertoia
21st Century and Contemporary American Mid-Century Modern Sculptures
Brass, Copper
Contemporary artist Val Bertoia's "Corner Sound Sculpture" is part of the Bertoia Sonambient series. It's made of 11 copper tops silvered to monel rods then silvered to a brass base. Th...
Val Bertoia Relaxing Spray Sculpture, 2014
By Harry Bertoia, Val Bertoia
Val Bertoia Relaxing Spray Sculpture, 2014
Harry Bertoia, Val Bertoia
21st Century and Contemporary American Mid-Century Modern Sculptures
Steel
Contemporary artist Val Bertoia's 'Relaxing Spray Sculpture'. This kinetic sculpture is made of two groupings of stainless-steel wires that were made by Harry Bertoia (circa 1950s-1960s...
Bertoia Diamond Chairs for Knoll
By Knoll, Harry Bertoia
Bertoia Diamond Chairs for Knoll
Knoll, Harry Bertoia
Mid-20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Chairs
Leather, Chrome, Plastic
Early Knoll production with custom Napa leather bikini cushions.
Harry Bertoia Patinated Bronze Bush Sculpture, cir...
Harry Bertoia
Vintage 1970s American Sculptures
An extraordinary example of Bertoi's greatly desired Bush form. It's size and irregular form make this a rare opportunity to acquire an important example of Harry Bertoia's work.
Val Bertoia Bronze Hydrangea Sculpture, 2015
Val Bertoia Bronze Hydrangea Sculpture, 2015
Harry Bertoia, Val Bertoia
21st Century and Contemporary American Mid-Century Modern Sculptures
Brass, Bronze
Contemporary artist Val Bertoia's "Hydrangea Sculpture" is made of 24 patinaed bronze mushroom shoots welded to a bronze core and a brass stem. The base is part of a sculpture made by H...
Important Harry Bertoia Sculptures from Stemmons T...
Harry Bertoia
Vintage 1960s American Sculptures
Brass, Bronze
This important grouping of Bertoia sculptures were the centerpiece of the Stemmons Towers International sculpture garden in Dallas, Texas.
White Knoll Bertoia Chairs
By Knoll, Harry Bertoia
White Knoll Bertoia Chairs
Knoll, Harry Bertoia
Vintage 1980s Modern Chairs
These are the indoor/outdoor version of the Classic Knoll Bertoia chairs, circa 1980s. Only four chairs have plastic glides at bottom of legs. Each chair show different wear and tear bu...
Diamond Wire Side Lounge Armchair by Bertoia Knoll...
Harry Bertoia, Knoll International
Vintage 1950s American Mid-Century Modern Chairs
Steel, Fabric
Diamond wire side lounge armchair by Bertoia Knoll International, midcentury and original with full cover Knoll textiles fabric The diamond chair is an astounding study in space, form ...
Bird Chair and Ottoman by Harry Bertoia for Knoll
Harry Bertoia
Vintage 1950s American Chaise Longues
Metal
Bird chair and its ottoman by Harry Bertoia for Knoll. Dimensions of stool: 39 x 60 x 43 cm. Structure in black varnished iron rod, seated in cotton fabric.
Pair of Baby Bertoia Chairs
Pair of Baby Bertoia Chairs
Harry Bertoia
Vintage 1960s Mid-Century Modern Chairs
Adorable pair of vintage, 1960s, baby-sized wire chairs designed by Harry Bertoia for Knoll. These miniature versions of Bertoia's iconic Industrial chair design are great additions for...
Harry Bertoia Stainless Steel Willow Sculpture, US...
Harry Bertoia
Vintage 1970s American Sculptures
Stainless Steel
A heavy stainless steel base and pole support a spray of hundreds of delicate stainless wires, arcing from the center creating a graceful drape of steel. One of Bertoia's most celebrate...
Bird Chair and Ottoman by Harry Bertoia for Knoll
Bird Chair and Ottoman by Harry Bertoia for Knoll
Knoll, Harry Bertoia
Vintage 1970s American Armchairs
Leather
Bird chair and its ottoman, vintage blue leather. By Harry Bertoia for Knoll. Dimensions of stool : 39 x 60 x 43 cm.
Harry Bertoia for Knoll Red Diamond Chair, 1960s
Harry Bertoia
Vintage 1960s American Mid-Century Modern Chairs
Steel, Fabric
Large Bertoia Diamond Chair Measuring 28.75 in H x 40. in W x 29.5 in   
Harry Bertoia Untitled, “Multi-Plane,” 1950s
Harry Bertoia Untitled, “Multi-Plane,” 1950s
Harry Bertoia
Vintage 1950s American American Craftsman Wall-mounted Sculptures
Brass, Steel
Harry Bertoia. (Multi-plane with shaped sculpture). USA, circa 1950s. Brass melt-coated steel plates on central steel stem. Measures: 130 cm H. 51.25 in H.
Set of Steel Wire Barstools by Harry Bertoia for Knoll Associates
Set of Steel Wire Barstools by Harry Bertoia for K...
Harry Bertoia, Knoll Associates Inc.
Vintage 1960s American Mid-Century Modern Stools
This comfortable set of four counter height barstools feature the shapely steel wire frames made popular by designer Harry Bertoia for Knoll Associates. The bonded black finish is wonde...
Pair of Bertoia for Knoll Wire Side Chairs
Pair of Bertoia for Knoll Wire Side Chairs
Knoll, Harry Bertoia
Mid-20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Dining Room Chairs
Nice pair of Bertoia design for Knoll wire side chairs in black with original yellow pad seats. Clean, original, ready ton use.
3 Harry Bertoia for Knoll Bird Chairs in Periwinkl...
Harry Bertoia
Vintage 1980s American Lounge Chairs
A nice vintage 1980s set of 3 bird chairs. We originally had 6 and three have sold . Each of the chairs have slightly different minor defects. We are selling these each, so if you are i...
Set of Four Original Harry Bertoia Knoll Wire Chairs
By Harry Bertoia, Knoll International
Set of Four Original Harry Bertoia Knoll Wire Chai...
Harry Bertoia, Knoll International
Vintage 1950s American Mid-Century Modern Dining Room Chairs
Original Bertoia wire chairs for Knoll. Chair is a 1952 design by Harry Bertoia. All chairs are labeled Knoll. Seat pads are patent leather. All inquiries please call or just press "Con...
July 1961 Playboy Magazine f/t  Masters of Mid-Century Design Eames Saarinen
July 1961 Playboy Magazine f/t Masters of Mid-Cen...
Charles Eames, Eero Saarinen, Harry Bertoia
Vintage 1960s American Mid-Century Modern Collectibles and Curiosities
Ever laugh when someone said, “I only read Playboy for the articles”? You won’t anymore. Up for sale is the July 1961 edition of Playboy Magazine. The Centerfold is nice, but the mag...
Vintage Mid-Century Side Chair Designed by Harry B...
Harry Bertoia
20th Century American Chairs
Steel
Original Bertoia side chair designed by Harry Bertoia for Knoll in the 1950s with black seat pad. As Knoll say: "Innovative, comfortable and strikingly handsome, Harry Bertoia's sid...
Val Bertoia : 100 Rods for 100 Years of Bertoia Sounds Sculpture
Customizable
Val Bertoia : 100 Rods for 100 Years of Bertoia So...
Harry Bertoia, Val Bertoia
21st Century and Contemporary American Mid-Century Modern Sculptures
Brass, Bronze
Contemporary artist Val Bertoia's '100 Rods for 100 Years of Bertoia Sounds Sculpture' is part of the Bertoia Sonambient series. This piece was designed to celebrate Italian born artist...