Harry Bertoia

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Harry Bertoia (March 10, 1915 - November 6, 1978) was an Italian-born artist, sound art sculptor, and modern furniture designer. At the age of 15 he traveled from Italy to Detroit to visit his older brother. Choosing to remain in the US, he enrolled in Cass Technical High School, studying art and design and learning the craft of handmade jewellery making. In 1938, he attended the Art School of the Detroit Society of Arts and Crafts, now known as the College for Creative Studies. The following year in 1937 he received a scholarship to study at the Cranbrook Academy of Art where he encountered Walter Gropius, Edmund N. Bacon and Ray and Charles Eames for the first time. In 1950, he moved to Pennsylvania to establish a studio and to work with Hans and Florence Knoll. (Florence was also a Cranbrook Graduate). During this period, he designed five wire pieces that became known as the Bertoia Collection for Knoll. Among them, the famous 'Diamond chair' a fluid, sculptural form made from a molded, lattice work of welded steel.