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Harry Bertoia

Harry Bertoia (1915-1978) first designed furniture in the 1950s for Knoll that, while brief, was so powerful and enduring that the royalties alone from his series allowed him to turn his attention to sculpture for the rest of his life. Born in Italy, Bertoia moved with his parents to USA in 1930 and he attended Cass Technical High School in Detroit. On a scholarship, he went to the Cranbrook Academy of Art in 1937.
At Cranbrook, Bertoia began a relationship with his colleagues, Charles and Ray Eames, that would extend into a working relationship. Bertoia married Brigitta Valentines and joined the Eames in their studio in 1943.
With Eero Saarinen they developed a method for making molded plywood splints that would later evolve into processes for designing furniture.
In the 1950's he struck up a working relationship with another Cranbrook classmate, Florence Knoll, who had a studio in Pennsylvania and offered Bertoia a flexible and supportive environment in which to design. He produced his immensely popular steel mesh series of furniture for them, which included the "Diamond" chair, one of the most prevalent images of modern furniture design.

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