As a child growing up in Italy, the iconic furniture designer Harry Bertoia (1915-1978) created commissioned jewelry and embroidery patterns for area brides. His career later spanned design, printmaking, music and sculpting, but, as a new exhibit at the Cranbrook Art Museum highlights, such work was his first love.
Bertoia's work at the Cranbrook Art Museum; courtesy Knoll
As Glenn Adamson, the Nanette L. Laitman Director of the Museum of Arts and Design, shared in a March 18 talk at Knoll’s New York showroom, “It was really in jewelry that Bertoia started making his first inroads into what would become his signature aesthetic, through the expression of line, first and foremost, and bringing a line alive through a kind of compositional technique.”
Brooch, 1946; courtesy Knoll
The exhibit, “Bent, Cast & Forged: The Jewelry of Harry Bertoia,” will run through November 29 and features Bertoia’s bracelets, brooches and necklaces. A September 30 guest lecture at Knoll with museum curator Shelley Selim will delve into the artist-designer’s designs. (Seating is limited; RSVP here.)
Harry Bertoia; courtesy Knoll