Harry Bertoia: Sculpture & Sound Opens July 20, 2013 at the Michener Art Museum

Exhibition Celebrates Furniture Designs for Knoll As Well As Sculptures and Monoprints

July 16, 2013

Harry Bertoia: Sculpture & Sound, an exhibition that celebrates Harry Bertoia furniture designs for Knoll as well as his sonambient sculptures, opens on July 20, 2013 at the Michener Art Museum in Doylestown, Pennsylvania.

The exhibit will features furniture, including the iconic Bertoia Diamond chair, monoprints, jewelry, and tonal and static sculptures by Harry Bertoia from several private and public collections. Album recordings made by Harry Bertoia will also be included in the exhibition.

On October 4, 2013 from 2- 3pm, the Edgar N. Putman Event Pavilion will feature a lecture by Harry Bertoia’s daughter, Celia Bertoia.  The presentation will will touch upon the designer's art and furniture and will also incorporate Bertoia family photos.

Harry Bertoia, who was born in Italy in 1915, moved to California in 1946 to help fellow Cranbrook alumnus Charles Eames develop methods of laminating and bending plywood. At the suggestion of Herbert Matter, who had worked alongside Eames and Bertoia, Florence and Hans Knoll traveled to California and encouraged Bertoia to move east and set up his own metal shop in a corner of Knoll’s production facility.

As a resident of Barto, Pennsylvania, Bertoia created his well-known sonambient sculptures, a number of which will be included in the exhibition. These sculptures range in size, from as small as a few inches to as large as 19 feet. The sculpture’s rods, most commonly construed of steel, copper, and brass, are capped with cylinders or drops of metal. “These features, by their weight, influence the swaying of the tonal rods and the tenor of sound they emit.“

Harry Bertoia received the AIA Craftsmanship Award in 1956 and the Critic's Award in 1968. His home and studio, including a barn space installation of 75 sonambient sculptures of varying heights, is maintained by his son, artist Val Bertoia. The Harry Bertoia collection of furniture for Knoll has been in continues production since its introduction and continues to convey Bertoia’s legacy of innovation, inspiration and beauty.

Harry Bertoia: Sculpture & Sound will be on display at The James A. Michener Art Museum located at 138 South Pine Street in Doylestown, Pennsylvania. Exhibition hours are Tuesday through Friday from 10am to 4:30pm; Saturday from 10am to 5pm; and Sunday from 12pm to 5pm.