Symposium: Harry Bertoia - Sculpting Mid-Century Life

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Saturday January 29

1:00 PM  –  4:00 PM

An in-depth discussion of the work and impact of American artist Harry Bertoia (1915–1978), who was one of the most prolific, innovative artists of the postwar period. Bertoia’s legacy includes designs for one-of-a kind jewelry and iconic chairs, thousands of unique sculptures including large-scale commissions for significant buildings, and advancing the use of sound as sculptural material. Harry Bertoia: Sculpting Mid-Century Modern Life questions how and why we distinguish between a chair, a necklace, a screen, and a freestanding sculpture—and what Bertoia’s sculptural things, when seen together, say about the fluidity of visual language across culture, both at mid-century and now.  

1 p.m. / Scholarly Presentations


Jed Morse 

Introduction: Harry Bertoia: Sculpting Mid-Century Life 


Dr. Marin Sullivan 

“The Moment of Sharing”: Harry Bertoia’s Large-Scale Commissions  


Dr. Sydney Skelton Simon 

Between Medium and Technology: Bertoia’s Monotypes and the Synthesis of Art and Design  


Olivia Block 

The Speed of Sound in Infinite Copper: Responding to Bertoia’s Sound Sculptures 


2:30 p.m. / Roundtable Discussion 


Moderated by Jed Morse, Chief Curator, Nasher Sculpture Center 

Celia Bertoia 

Olivia Block 

Dr. Sydney Skelton Simon 

Dr. Marin Sullivan 


Registration is FREE for Nasher Members and students; $10 for non-members (includes museum admission). In-person and open to the public. Advance registration required (limited seating available).