Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony for Harry Bertoia Sculpture at the Woodmere Art Museum
Ribbon-cutting Ceremony at the Woodmere Art Museum: Free Interpretation of Plant forms by Harry Bertoia
Saturday, October 14, 2:00 P.M.
9201 Germantown Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19118
This event is free and open to the public.
Celebrate the Woodmere Art Museum’s conservation and installation of Free Interpretation of Plant Forms, Harry Bertoia’s extraordinary 1967 sculpture and fountain. In coordination with the Philadelphia Office of Arts, Culture, and the Creative Economy, this masterpiece is an exciting addition to Woodmere’s landscape. It joins Dina Wind’s enlargement of Spring & Triangle, which was unveiled in 2016.
Originally commissioned by the City’s Percent-for-Art program, Bertoia’s fountain was installed in the central plaza of the Philadelphia Civic Center in West Philadelphia in 1967. The sculpture was placed in storage in 2000 when the plaza and the adjacent buildings of the Civic Center were slated for demolition. Conservation of the sculpture will took place on site at Woodmere through the summer, and the public is invited to observe as the sculpture is cleaned and restored to splendor. The sculpture is made through a process Bertoia invented; he would bend commercially obtained copper tubing by hand and weld it together with a bronze alloy.
Harry Bertoia was born in Italy in 1915, and he immigrated to the United States at the age of fifteen. Invited by Hans and Florence Knoll, he moved to Bally, Pennsylvania in 1950. He was successful in his work for Knoll, Inc., and he pursued a career that bridged the fine arts and industrial design. Starting in the summer of 1966, he built the Free Interpretation of Plant Forms with two studio assistants in the parking area outside his Bally studio because it was too large to build inside. He delivered it to the Philadelphia Civic Center in 1967.
For more information about the sculpture, the artist or the upcoming event, please visit the Woodmere Art Museum’s website: https://woodmereartmuseum.org/explore-online/collection/free-interpretation-of-plant-forms