Oral history interview with Harry Bertoia, 1972 June 20

Bertoia, Harry , b. 1915 d. 1978
Sculptor, Designer, Furniture designer, Metalworker
Active in Calif.

Size: Transcript: 33 pages

Format: Originally recorded 2 sound tape reels. Reformated in 2010 as 3 digital wav files. Duration is 3 hr., 1 min.

Collection Summary: An interview of Harry Bertoia conducted 1972 June 20, by Paul Cummings, for the Archives of American Art. Bertoia speaks of his childhood in San Lorenzo, Italy; his family; his art education at Cass Technical School, the Society of Arts and Crafts in Detroit, and Cranbrook Academy; his early metal work and woodcuts; defense work with Charles Eames in Venice, California; development of Eames' prize-winning plywood chair; his chair designs for Knoll International; exhibitions of his sculpture; his experiments with sound and with "sonambient" sculpture; and techniques and materials. Bertoia also discusses his commissioned works for Manufacturer's Trust, General Motors, and Dulles Airport. He recalls John Carroll, Carl Milles, Eero Saarinen, Sarkis Sarkisian, and others.

Biographical/Historical Note: Harry Bertoia (1915-1978) was a sculptor and furniture designer.

This interview is part of the Archives' Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and others.

How to Use this Interview

  • A transcript of this interview appears below.
  • The transcript of this interview is in the public domain and may be used without permission. Quotes and excerpts must be cited as follows: Oral history interview with Harry Bertoia, 1972 June 20, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution
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Interview Transcript

This transcript is in the public domain and may be used without permission. Quotes and excerpts must be cited as follows: Oral history interview with Harry Bertoia, 1972 June 20, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

Note: This typewritten transcript was scanned and run through optical character recognition software (OCR). However, the resulting OCR text has not been reviewed or edited for accuracy.



This transcript is in the public domain and may be used without permission. Quotes and excerpts must be cited as follows: Oral history interview with Harry Bertoia, 1972 June 20, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.