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"Diamond" Armchair

Decorative Arts

On View: Luce Visible Storage and Study Center, 5th Floor
First manufactured by Knoll in 1952, the welded-steel-rod Diamond armchair by Harry Bertoia added dynamism to modern seating. Its open frame, supporting a grid of smaller diamond shapes, glorified the use of a new industrial material. Bertoia wrote about the graceful design: “My feeling was that it had to come almost from an inward direction. . . . I began to rely once more on my own body. . . . The chairs are studies in space, form, and metal, too.” The continued success of the Diamond armchair is attributable to its seamless melding of aesthetics and practicality, seen in the best mid-century American design.
MEDIUM Steel, plastic, rubber, cotton
  • Place Manufactured: New York, New York, United States
  • DATES Designed 1952; Manufactured ca. 1970
    DIMENSIONS Overall: 30 x 34 x 28 in. (76.2 x 86.4 x 71.1 cm.) Height of seat: 16 1/2 in. (41.9 cm.)  (show scale)
    MARKINGS Printed rectangular paper label afixed to seat interior, below cushion: Knoll International / 320 PARK Avenue / New york, NY 10022 (logo, capital "K" in a red circle).
    SIGNATURE no signaure
    INSCRIPTIONS no inscriptions
    COLLECTIONS Decorative Arts
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is on view in Luce Visible Storage and Study Center, 5th Floor
    ACCESSION NUMBER 78.128.8
    CREDIT LINE Gift of Knoll International, Inc.
    RIGHTS STATEMENT © artist or artist's estate
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    CAPTION Harry Bertoia (American, born Italy, 1915-1978). "Diamond" Armchair, Designed 1952; Manufactured ca. 1970. Steel, plastic, rubber, cotton, Overall: 30 x 34 x 28 in. (76.2 x 86.4 x 71.1 cm.). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Knoll International, Inc., 78.128.8. © artist or artist's estate
    IMAGE overall, 78.128.8_bw.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
    "CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Continuous diamond-shaped wire frame with central depression forming seat. Four thin, straight, canted tubular steel legs and front stretcher below seat formed from one continuous bent rod that is welded to a continuous tubular, metal squared support. The support in turn supports the seat and is connected by four bolts. Upholstered with polyurethane foam covered by red cotton cloth with conforming central horizontal seam. CONDITION: Very good. Upholstery is extremely dusty.
    RECORD COMPLETENESS Best (92%)
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