DESIGN PORN: Harry Bertoia and Knoll

In 1950, Italian-born sculptor and designer Harry Bertoia moved to Pennsylvania to work with Hans and Florence Knoll. During this period he designed five wire pieces that became known as the Bertoia Collection for Knoll. The chairs were of a fluid, sculptural form made from a molded lattice work of welded steel. Bertoia is quoted as saying, "If you look at these chairs, they are mainly made of air, like sculpture. Space passes right through them." 

In the 1950s most chairs were made of rigid wood, but the Bertoia line of furniture were totally innovative with welded wire and a springy feel. The Knoll/Bertoia chairs are still being produced today.

Knoll paid him for his time plus a handsome lump sum, leaving the chair rights permanently with Knoll. This large payment allowed Bertoia to purchase the Pennsylvania farmhouse and metal shop in which he stayed until his death in 1978.

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