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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Harry Bertoia Centennial Table Tonal

Harry Bertoia (1915-1978) was a metal sculptor, jeweler, graphic artist, and furniture designer best known for the Knoll Bertoia wire chairs. His sounding sculptures were composed of a dense cluster of stainless steel rods welded to a base, which were "played" by running a hand along the top. Bertoia, along with his contemporaries Charles Eames, Eero Saarinen, George Nakashima and others, changed America’s approach to art and design.

For the first time, the Bertoia Estate now offers an exact reproduction of a tonal sculpture from Bertoia’s most popular style, which he and his son Val created together in the 1970s. The original stands with about a hundred other tonals in the Pennsylvania "Sonambient barn". (Somnambient was Bertoia's term to describe the spatial and tonal environment created by these sound sculptures.)

Harry Bertoia with some of his sculptures

Original large Bertoia Sonambient sculpture

Smaller original Sonambient sculpture

Bertoia barn - Barto, PA

Check out the video. Celia Bertoia tells you a little about her father and lets you hear the Table Tonal. They are absolutely amazing, and I'd love for us to get one for the store!

Information about Bertoia and the new Table Tonal from Celia Bertoia


  1. Replies
    1. I'm so glad you've become a reader, Ria, and I'm happy that you enjoy my blog.

  2. I had no idea that he was a jeweller and sculptor as well. See, you learn something everyday! xx

    1. Yes, he made some gorgeous sculptures, and did you notice the spectacular necklace that his daughter was wearing! Most of the designers back then were incredibly multi-talented.

  3. Listened to the sounds, imagine a movie using it as a score.

    1. I can't get past imagining them in my living room.