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The Art of Sound: Selected Works of Harry Bertoia exhibition on view at The Demuth Museum

Lancaster, PA – The Demuth Museum is pleased to announce the opening of a special exhibition this fall featuring the work of Harry Bertoia (1915-1978), the twentieth century artist and designer whose contributions to modern sculpture and furniture design in America are of great importance. Harry Bertoia, much like Charles Demuth, was a pioneering artist of the twentieth century, and this exhibition will offer an overview that includes 55 examples of his inventive sculptures, furniture designs, and print making. The exhibition will be on view September 12 through November 17, 2013.

Probably best known for his Diamond chair and side chair that are still in production by Knoll, Inc. today, Bertoia was an Italian immigrant who arrived in Detroit in 1930 and enrolled in an arts high school. His early talents in painting and design were recognized and he continued his education at the Cranbrook Academy of Art.

In 1950, Bertoia moved to southeastern Pennsylvania to design furniture for Knoll. He developed not only the designs for wire chairs, but also fabricated a process for manufacturing the chairs. In his nearby studio in Bally, Bertoia began creating sculptures made with steel wire, beryllium copper and bronze. Called “tonals” or sounding sculptures, Bertoia played his tonal sculptures and recorded eleven “Sonambient” albums. This exhibit will feature a never before publically exhibited steel wire mobile that illuminates the artist’s range in thinking.

“Many people recognize Bertoia’s name from the chairs he designed for Knoll, or may have seen one of his over fifty publically commissioned works, but we hope to show the range of artwork that Harry created in the last three decades of his artistic career,” explains Executive Director Anne M. Lampe. “The sounding sculptures are stunning in their simple and graceful forms, and are an important and well-known segment of his body of work. However, Bertoia experimented with many other forms in bronze and steel wire and our exhibit will reveal the variety found in this innovative sculptor’s work.”

The exhibit will be open to the public beginning on September 12. Regular Museum Hours: Tuesday – Saturday, 10-4 and Sunday, 1-4. The Demuth Museum, 120 E. King Street, Lancaster, PA 17602. Visit or call (717) 299-9940 for more information.