Harry Bertoia

Harry Bertoia was an Italian-born American artist best known for his sculptures, jewelry, and furniture design. Born on March 10, 1915 in San Lorenzo, Italy, Bertoia moved with his older brother to Detroit at age 15 where he enrolled in Cass Technical High School. He would later attend the nearby Cranbrook Academy of Art, where he notably studied with Walter Gropius. He worked for the Evans Product Company and then the design firm Knoll, and by the 1950s was able to devote himself exclusively to art. It was then that Bertoia started making sculptures out of metal and wood that were made to produce various sounds, like chimes and gongs. He recorded his Sonambient albums in a barn he converted into a makeshift recording studio with these sound sculptures. Today, Betroia’s works are in the collections of the Brooklyn Museum in New York, the Hishorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C., the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, among others. He died on November 6, 1978 in Barto, PA.