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Sculpture Group Symbolizing World's Communication in the Atomic Age

1959 Harry Bertoia Born: San Lorenzo, Italy 1915 Died: Barto, Pennsylvania 1978 brazed and welded brass and bronze 142 1/4 x 231 1/4 x 81 in. (361.4 x 587.4 x 205.8 cm) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of the Zenith Corporation 1979.107A-D Smithsonian American Art Museum
3rd Floor, East Wing


Gallery Label

Harry Bertoia's sculptural installation reflects the optimism of the 1950s, when the economy boomed and broadcast television was transforming American culture. The largest cluster of the sculpture symbolizes the world transmitting light to the smaller forms that represent sight, sound, and electronic control, each of which also emits luminous impulses. Bertoia explained that "we live in a time dominated by...invisible forces....these [are] elements of the atomic and electronic age that I am trying to give sculptural shape and form." Bertoia's vision of global communications is a reality today, as satellites constantly receive and transmit signals for broadcast, cell phone, and computer communications.

Keywords

Abstract

Allegory - arts and sciences - technology

Allegory - element - energy

Allegory - life - Atomic Age

sculpture

metal - brass

metal - bronze

welded

About Harry Bertoia

Born: San Lorenzo, Italy 1915 Died: Barto, Pennsylvania 1978

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Harry Bertoia

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