And the Kenos’ infatuation with the Italian-born Bertoia doesn’t end with furniture. In fact, both brothers first encountered the artist back in 1992 in the entryway at Mount Cuba, an 18th-century brick manor house owned by the grande dame of Delaware society, the late Pamela du Pont Copeland. "Mrs. Copeland ran her fingers through a Bertoia sound sculpture, and this incredible chime resonated through a cavernous hallway lined with Chippendale furniture," recalls Leslie, who later managed the Sotheby’s auction of Mrs. Copeland’s furnishings (minus the Bertoia, which the family still owns).
Bertoia moved to America in 1930 and attended high school in Detroit. He won a scholarship to study at the esteemed Cranbook Academy of Art, where he later taught metalwork and printmaking. Of his musical sculptures, such as the one pictured here, Leigh enthuses: "You can’t look without touching."
"Harry Bertoia is really an artist who also designed six or seven chairs," Leigh says. "The furniture is a very small, but affordable, part of his entire output."
Bertoia’s "Experimental Sonambient," courtesy of photographer Matthew Regula of Lost City Arts in New York City; 212/375-0500; www.lostcityarts.com.