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Bertoia Bench
Iconic Designs

Bertoia Bench

About the Design

Simple, straightforward and unassuming in its clever design, the Bertoia bench is a hallmark mid-century modern piece. Harry Bertoia (1915–78) was an Italian-American sculptor, jewelry designer and furniture maker who developed his famous bench for Knoll in 1952. Made of slatted wood set atop a chrome-plated welded steel frame, the bench was Bertoia’s first product for Knoll, who granted him creative freedom when he joined the company’s studio in 1950. While the piece does not represent Bertoia’s now-famous signature wire-lattice style, it does hint at the sculptural quality that characterizes all of his work.


Before arriving at Knoll, Bertoia studied painting at Cranbrook Academy of Art. He eventually became a faculty member there, working alongside Eliel Saarinen, Walter Gropius and others. Bertoia eventually left the academy for California to help Charles and Ray Eames perfect the design of an award-winning chair that Charles had worked on with Eero Saarinen while at Cranbrook. It was thanks to Bertoia’s breakthrough welding contributions and innovations with plywood that cleared a path to mass production for both the chair and other wood-laminate furniture. However, the Eameses failed to credit Bertoia once the chair hit the market, thus ending the trio’s working relationship. A few years later, Bertoia joined the Knoll studio at the behest of his former Cranbrook classmate, Florence Knoll, and there he produced the bench as well as the beloved Diamond chair. Sculptural and versatile, the Bertoia bench can also be used as a coffee table. It is still manufactured by Knoll today.


Harry Bertoia Bench 400y 410y

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Beautiful Midcentury Slat Bench by Harry Bertoia for Knoll, USA, 1950s
By Harry Bertoia, Knoll
Located in Vienna, AT
A beautiful modernist ashwood slat bench with an iron base from the 1950s. Designed by Harry Bertoia for Knoll. Restored, in very good condition. The bench also makes a great coffee ...
Category

Mid-20th Century North American Mid-Century Modern Benches

Materials

Iron

Harry Bertoia, Slat Bench 1952 Knoll International, Early Edition, "Western K"
By Harry Bertoia, Knoll
Located in Munster, NRW
Harry Bertoia - wooden Slat Bench - 1952 This simple design was the first piece of furniture created by Harry Bertoia for Knoll. Although the bench does not have the signature wir...
Category

Vintage 1950s German Mid-Century Modern Benches

Materials

Metal

Harry Bertoia Bench for Knoll
By Harry Bertoia, Knoll
Located in Philadelphia, PA
Bertoia bench for Knoll. Longest version of the sizes offered. Solid oak slats with black iron legs. Retains original label. New finish. Measures: 82".  
Category

Vintage 1960s American Mid-Century Modern Benches

Materials

Iron

Modern Oak and Steel Knoll Slated Bench Attributed to Harry Bertoia
By Harry Bertoia, Knoll
Located in Toledo, OH
Knoll Mid-Century Modern oak and steel slated bench / coffee table attributed to Harry Bertia.
Category

Vintage 1960s North American Modern Benches

Materials

Oak

Vintage Harry Bertoia for Knoll Slat Bench Model 400
By Harry Bertoia, Knoll
Located in Vienna, AT
Vintage Harry Bertoia for Knoll Slat bench model 400. Early version of this bench with white lacquered wooden slats. It's in good condition with some wear to the lacquered slats.
Category

Vintage 1970s German Mid-Century Modern Benches

Materials

Steel, Chrome

Slat Bench by Harry Bertoia for Knoll
By Harry Bertoia
Located in New York, NY
A midcentury ashwood slat bench supported by black oxide steel base. Mod. no. 400-72. Designed by Harry Bertoia for Knoll. American, circa 1950s.
Category

Vintage 1960s American Benches

Materials

Ash