Chair Classics: The Diamond Chair by Harry Bertoia

Harry Bertoia (1915-1978) was a man of many talents — artist, sculptor, jeweler, and of course: modern furniture master. In 1950, after a stint of working at the Eames OfficeBertoia set up his own studio and began working on a furniture collection for Florence and Hans Knoll. The pieces, first released in 1952 and appropriately dubbed the ‘Bertoia Collection‘ were sculptural explorations in wire and welding. In total, 5 pieces of furniture were created; a barstool, a side chair, a chaise and two lounge chairs — one of which of course being Bertoia‘s legendary Diamond Chair.

When describing his collection for Knoll, Bertoia stated “If you look at these chairs, they are mainly made of air, like sculpture. Space passes right through them.” Judging by that, Bertoia himself clearly preferred the un-upholstered versions, though there are varying degrees of padding and covers available depending on your desired comfort level.

In my opinion the Diamond Chair is arguably the quintessential poster child for timeless design. As I find it hard to imagine an interior, past or present (and likely future) that would not be better off with one in the corner. This is ultimately somewhat unfortunate though, because with the Bertoia chairs seemingly never going out of style, it only makes logical sense that we will all be perpetually let down during our grandiose thrift shop scouring. After all, who would ever want to get rid of one?

Nathan