The collection
White wire-framed armchair viewed from the back. Seat, back, and arms are formed from an open wire mesh and covered on the front with red upholstery.

Armchair, Diamond

Designed by
Harry Bertoia (1915–1978)
Vinyl-coated steel, polyurethane foam, cotton upholstery
Produced by
Knoll Associates Inc., New York, New York
77.5 x 85.7 x 69.7 cm

The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, the Liliane and David M. Stewart Collection, D85.154.1

Known for his open metal sculpture of the late 1940s and ’50s, Bertoia studied at the Cranbrook Academy of Art and began his career teaching in the metal shop there in 1938. He began working for Knoll in 1946 and set up his own studio near the manufacturer’s Pennsylvania factory. He saw chairs as functional sculpture.

The Diamond chair is in the shape of a diamond in its overall structure and is made of a diamond patterned heavy wire mesh. Padding provided comfort but disrupted the transparency of the openwork design. Several variations on this chair were designed, including a child’s version, and this version continues in production today.

The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, photo: Giles Rivest. © Estate of Harry Bertoia / SOCAN (2019).