Bertoia at 100: Harry Bertoia Centennial Celebration at Knoll New York

"Learning from Bertoia" Presentation by Glenn Adamson, Nanette L. Laitman Director of the Museum of Arts and Design

March 24, 2015

On Wednesday, March 18, 2015, Knoll marked the 100th anniversary of Harry Bertoia’s birthday with a presentation by Glenn Adamson, the Nanette L. Laitman Director of Museum of Arts and Design, at the Knoll New York Showroom.

Members of the art, design and architecture community gathered at the midtown office to celebrate the jewelry, sculptures, monoprints and furniture of Harry Bertoia.

“Bertoia was everything all at once --not just the ability to think about design, meditate on form, envision what the future might look like -- but actually to deliver it with their hands,” Adamson said at the event.

In 1950, Harry Bertoia is invited to Knoll. The Knolls never demanded that Harry develop furniture; they merely suggested that he experiment, and, if he arrived at a piece of furniture, to show them.

“Hans and Florence have formed what turns out to be the absolute perfect context for Harry Bertoia to flourish,” Adamson states, “a place that has very strong alliances with modern design – both American and European – but also a place where rigorous systematic design is not necessarily the ethos."

Adamnson continues, “Bertoia is given room to play at Knoll. His contracts are written in such a way that he has a lot of creative freedom. He’s not necessarily given a commission or specific product that he’s meant to execute, rather he is invited to Knoll … and given this kind of creative license.“

View clips from Bertoia at 100 below and learn more about Harry Bertoia at Knoll Inspiration.

Watch the Full Video

Watch an Excerpt

Bertoia Diamond Chair
Bertoia Barstool
Bertoia Side Chair
Bertoia Bird Chair
Bertoia Asymmetric Chaise
Bertoia Bench