Bush, c. 1960
10 x 9 x 8 inches
Harry Bertoia was a prominent and prolific mid-twentieth sculptor, with wide-ranging design ability. In addition to sculpture, he created furniture, jewelry, large-scale screens, city fountains, masterful architectural installations, and innovative sounding sculptures. Born in Italy, Bertoia settled with his family in Detroit. He earned a scholarship to Cranbrook Academy of Art, where he met his future wife, Brigitta, and Charles Eames, with whom he collaborated on chair designs.
Bertoia’s exposure to metalworking and drawing at Cranbrook provided him with the impetus to explore the sculptural forms for which he later became known. He often drew conceptual sketches, which he used as a guideline for future pieces. Sometimes up to thirty years would pass between conceptualization and realization of an idea. Bertoia’s began creating his bush sculptures in the late 1950s and continued making them through the 1970s.