Harry Bertoia: Abstract Drawings
Marshall M. Fredericks Sculpture Museum welcomes Harry Bertoia, Abstract Drawings Exhibition

VIDEO: Interview with Celia Bertoia.

The Marshall M. Fredericks Sculpture Museum will host an exhibition featuring one of Marshall Fredericks’ colleagues. Harry Bertoia, Abstract Drawings, will be on display Saturday, Oct. 1 through Saturday, Jan. 6.

“The professional relationship Marshall Fredericks and Harry Bertoia had during the late 1930s and early 1940s while they were both teaching at the prestigious Cranbrook Educational Community provided the impetus for bringing this exhibition of Bertoia drawings to the Museum,” said Museum Director Marilyn Wheaton.

Fredericks first went to Cranbrook in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan at the invitation of sculptor Carl Milles in 1932. Fredericks went on to teach sculpture, wood carving, ceramics and art at the college preparatory schools and served as an instructor in ceramics, modeling and sculpture. He continued to teach and live at Cranbrook until he enlisted in the U.S. Armed Forces in 1942.

In the fall of 1937, a scholarship allowed Harry Bertoia to be a student of painting and drawing, at the Cranbrook Academy of Art. In 1939, Eliel Saarinen, director of the Cranbrook Art Community, asked Bertoia to stay on at the academy to re-open the department of metal-working. Bertoia accepted the position, teaching jewelry making and metal work until 1943 when he and his wife moved to California to work with Charles and Ray Eames.

With the war-time needs for metals, Bertoia was forced to concentrate on jewelry, which did not use as much metal. He shared jewelry with his friends at Cranbrook and made wedding rings for Charles and Ray Eames and Edmund Bacon. Bertoia also continued an after-hour activity he began as a student, experimenting and producing one-of-a-kind prints and drawings that were later known as monoprints.

Bertoia's sterling silver reproductions of brooches and rings will be available for purchase in the Museum gift shop during the time the exhibition is at the Museum.

The Harry Bertoia, Abstract Drawings exhibition is made possible with funding from the Dow Chemical Company.
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