Montgomery County Artist Subject of Berman Museum Exhibition

Harry Bertoia, Four Decades of Drawings, will be on view at the Lenfest Gallery in the Berman Museum of Art at Ursinus College through June 3.

Harry Bertoia; Untitled, 399

Harry Bertoia (American, 1915-1978); Untitled, 399; c. 1970’s; Ink on paper 22 x 27”

Harry Bertoia, born in Italy in 1915, was a resident of Barto, Pa., near Pottstown, where he created his well-known “tonal” sounding sculptures and designed furniture for Knoll, International.

His early studies at the Cranbrook Academy of Art were in printmaking and metalworking, which informed his work throughout his career. Drawing, too, was an important part of the artist’s creative process, and many of his pieces clearly show his planning and experimentation with ideas for sculptures. In 1950, at the invitation of the Knoll furniture design company, he moved to eastern Pennsylvania and designed, among other pieces, the Bertoia Diamond chair series, which became part of the modern furniture movement.

This exhibition, curated and traveled by Seraphin Gallery, Philadelphia, consists of 30 framed drawings from 1940 to 1978, and several Bertoia sculptures drawn from the permanent collection of the Philip and Muriel Berman Museum of Art at Ursinus College. He died in 1978.


The Philip and Muriel Berman Museum of Art at Ursinus, known for its diverse collection and innovative educational programming, is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday through Friday; and  noon to 4:30 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. The Museum is closed Mondays and college holidays. The Museum is accessible to the physically disabled, and admission is free. The museum is accredited by the American Association of Museums. Exhibitions and programs are funded in part by a grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and annual support from Epps Advertising.