Design Lover: Harry Bertoia Spray Sculpture


Leave it to Antiques Roadshow to install this beauty into the gallery of my mind. How many designers can bank roll their careers off the royalties made on one of their first commercially available designs? Harry Bertoia did. In 1950, Bertoia began collaborating with furniture makers and marketers Florence and Hans Knoll. Bertoia's first piece he designed for Knoll was the chromium 'Model 420 Diamond' chair. The royalties made from the 'Model 420' enabled Bertoia to further pursue his love of metalwork and sculpture - which was put on hold during WWII due to metal shortages.

Bertoia seldom named his sculptures and some are unsigned. Nevertheless, most of his sculptures are now known by the identification given them by the Allentown Art Museum's 1975 catalogue accompanying a Bertoia exhibit (he passed away in 1978).

'Sprays' are bunches of stainless steel wires that sway when touched or are moved by air currents. They always have a twist where they are connected to their concrete base. Sizes vary from 12 to 50 inches.

You can buy one here .



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