News Service


C. Arthur Croyle, Design, (515) 294-8909
Roger Baer, Design, (515) 294-7428
Annette Humphreys, Design, (515) 294-7428
Steve Sullivan, News Service, (515) 294-3720


AMES, Iowa -- An exhibit of sculpture by Harry Bertoia will open the 1998-99 season of the Iowa State University College of Design's Gallery 181.

"Harry Bertoia: Sculptural Investigations" will run from Aug. 27 through Sept. 22, 1998. Gallery 181 hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday. The gallery is located on the ground floor of the atrium in the College of Design building at Iowa State University. Admission is free.

The exhibit, which also will include three Bertoia chairs, is made possible by Stanley J. How, a 1951 ISU architecture graduate who was a friend of Bertioa and owns a collection of his work. How, who practices architecture in Omaha, will present a gallery talk at 4 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 9, in Gallery 181. The public is invited to attend.

Throughout the 1950s, 60s and into the 70s, Bertoia became widely known for his numerous public and corporate commissions. He collaborated with some of the most prestigious architects and design firms of his time, including Eero Saarinen, I.M. Pei, and Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. Some of his best-known projects include a relief mural at Dulles International Airport, Washington, DC; sculptural screens in the General Motors Technical Center, Warren, Mich., and Manufacturers Hanover Trust Co., New York City; welded metal sculptures at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, and the Northwestern Life Insurance Company building, Minneapolis; and fountain sculptures at Manufacturers & Traders Trust, Buffalo, N.Y., and the Civic Center, Philadelphia. His art also has appeared in numerous national exhibitions and is in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum.

The Gallery 181 exhibition features Bertoia's more personal investigations, many of which were the studies and artistic predecessors of his larger public commissions. In his projects, Bertoia explored light and space, and the concept of interior space. In addition, he was interested in both sound and motion in sculpture, creating a large series of sculptures that produce sound when touched or moved by the wind. A recording of sounds made by Bertoia's acoustical pieces will be played in Gallery 181 during the exhibition.

Bertoia worked in a variety of media, including painting, drawing, printmaking and sculpture, and in the early 1950s, he achieved public recognition for his chair designs produced for the Knoll Corporation. After this initial success in applied design, Bertoia turned exclusively to metal sculpture and believed this to be his true medium. Bertoia died in 1978.

How was the 1994 recipient of the College of Design's Christian Petersen Design Award. His Lied Jungle Design for Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo was recognized by Time magazine as one of 1992's 10 best architectural designs.


Iowa State homepage

University Relations,
Copyright © 1997, Iowa State University, all rights reserved
Revised 8/25/98