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Harry Bertoia papers, 1917-1979

Bertoia, Harry, 1915-1978

Metal-worker, Designer, Sculptor, Furniture designer


Collection Information

Size: 0.9 Linear feet

Summary: Awards and certificates; photocopies of correspondence; catalogs and announcements and a book, Harry Bertoia, Sculptor by June Compass Nelson (Wayne State Univ., 1970), and a phonograph album of Bertoia's sound sculpture "Sonambient." Also included is an illustrated booklet entitled "My Career" by Bertoia written when he was 17 and a student in Gladys Little's occupational information class at Cleveland Junior High School in Detroit, Mich. The booklet has been microfilmed on reel 2787.

Biographical/Historical Note

Harry Bertoia (1915-1978) was a sculptor, designer, and metalsmith from Michigan and California. Harry Bertoia was born in Italy. He attended Cranbrook Academy of Art and was a designer for Knoll Associates.


Papers donated 1979 by Brigitta Bertoia, Bertoia's widow; she also lent material on reel 1471 for microfilming. The booklet and phonograph album were donated in 1975-1977 by Gladys M. Little, Bertoia's teacher in junior high school; and papers on reels 3843-3851 were lent for microfilming 1986 by Bertoia Studios Ltd. (and subsequently purchased by the Vitra Design Museum, Germany).

Related Materials

Also in the Archives are extensive papers lent for microfilming. Microfilm reels 3843-3851 contain personal correspondence, 1947-1979 and undated; business records, 1943-1979; and clippings. Among the correspondents are: Anni Albers, Josef Albers, Albert Christ-Janer, Charles Eames, Walter Gropius, Victor Gruen, Henry Moore, Louis Redstone, Zoltan Sepechy, and Minoru Yamasaki. Reel 1471 consists of sketches; jewelry designs; monoprints; three photographs of Bertoia with his work; a photograph of his assistant, Jim Flanagan working on a sculpture; and photographs of works. Also, a scrapbook containing family and personal photographs and photographs of works; clippings; a statement to friends by Bertoia; a funeral address by his widow Brigitta; and Bertoia's death certificate. Notes by Brigitta are included.

Language Note

English .

Location of Originals

  • Reel 1471: Originals returned to lender, Brigitta Bertoia, after microfilming.
  • Reels 3843-3851: Originals in the Vitra Design Museum, Weil am Rhein, Germany.

How to Use This Collection

Alternative Forms Available

35mm microfilm reels 1471, 2787 & 3843-3851 available for use at Archives of American Art offices and through interlibrary loan.

Restrictions on Access

Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Microfilmed materials must be consulted on microfilm.

How to Cite This Collection

Harry Bertoia papers, 1917-1979. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.