Harry Bertoia was born in northern Italy in 1915, and immigrated to the USA in 1930. He attended Cranbrook Art Academy, where he met many influential fellow artists, architects, and designers and expanded his world.
He married Brigitta Valentiner in 1943, daughter of art historian and expert Wilhelm Valentiner. After some years in California, Bertoia settled near Allentown, Pennsylvania to work with Knoll, the furniture company.
Harry Bertoia's line of chairs is still in production and is astonishingly modern. In the 1950s, he began to receive commissions from architects all over the country, placing public pieces nationally and internationally. He received more than ten prestigious awards over the years.
In the 1960s he started to play with wire sculptures that could move and make sound. These tonal pieces became wildly popular and he named them Sonambient. There is a barn on the old homestead which houses 100 tonals.
Sadly, his life was cut short at age 63 by cancer and his grave is marked by a one ton gong.