Harry Bertoia was an Italian-born jewelry and furniture designer. He was also a proficient graphic artist, architect, and sculptor. Having moved to the United States as a teenager, Bertoia would eventually make his mark in modern design furniture with his innovative wire furniture collection, quickly becoming one of the finest achievements in 20th-century furniture design.
Born in 1915 in the small village of San Lorenzo, Pordenone, Italy, Harry Bertoia's future as a successful artist and designer was evident from an early age. Many of the local women specifically asked him to design the linen embroidery patterns they intended to use for their wedding day.
At the age of fifteen Bertoia accompanied his father to the United States, where his legal name of Arri was Americanized to Harry. Bertoia would remain in the United States, studying at Cass Technical High School in Detroit, Michigan where he cultivated his artistic training. His talents would earn him a scholarship to the Art School of the Detroit Society of Arts and Crafts.
In the late 1930s, Bertoia began working at a metal workshop and would then switch to jewelry making, creating rings for none other than fellow modern home design pioneer Ray Eames. After marrying in the 1940s Bertoia moved to California and began to work alongside Ray Eames and her husband Charles.
The Knoll design firm came knocking in 1950, and it was then that Harry Bertoia would go on to create his five iconic wire pieces, better known simply as the Bertoia Collection. Among the pieces was his famous Diamond Chair unveiled in 1952 which lead Bertoia and the Knoll brand to tremendous commercial success.
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