Wendell Castle

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Wendell Castle (November 6, 1932 – January 20, 2018)[1] was an American furniture artist and a leading figure in American craft. Castle was born in Emporia, Kansas. He grew up and graduated from Holton High School in Holton, Kansas Class of 1951. In 1958, he received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in industrial design, and in 1961, he received a Master of Fine Arts, both from the University of Kansas.

From 1962-1969, he taught at Rochester Institute of Technology, School for American Craftsmen, in Rochester, NY, and was an Artist in Residence.[2] In 1980, he opened the Wendell Castle School in Scottsville, NY.

Castle is famous for his use of stack-lamination, a woodworking technique he pioneered in the 1960s, which was based on a 19th-century sculptural technique used for making duck decoys. Stack-lamination allowed Castle to create large blocks of wood out a series of planks, which were then carved and molded into the biomorphic shapes for which he is best known[3].

He has garnered a number of awards, including a 1994 'Visionaries of the American Craft Movement' award sponsored by the American Craft Museum, a 1997 Gold Medal from the American Craft Council and a 1998 Artist of the Year Award from the Arts & Cultural Council for Greater Rochester.[4] He has also received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Comfort Tiffany Foundation. In 2001 he received the Award of Distinction from The Furniture Society.

Permanent collections[edit]


  • Addison Gallery of American Art, Andover, MA
  • Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL
  • Art Museum Project, Dearborn, MI
  • High Museum, Atlanta, GA
  • Mount Dora Modernism Museum, FL
  • Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY
  • Burchfield-Penney Art Center, Buffalo, NY
  • Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, PA
  • Cincinnati Art Museum, Cincinnati, OH
  • Charles A. Wustum Museum of Fine Arts, Racine, WI
  • Design Museum Ghent, Ghent, Belgium
  • Delaware Art Museum, Wilmington, DE
  • Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit, MI
  • Everson Museum, Syracuse, NY
  • High Museum of Art, Atlanta, GA
  • Hunter Museum of Art, Chattanooga, TN
  • Ithaca College Art Museum, Ithaca, NY
  • Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art, Denver, CO
  • Lannan Foundation Collection, Los Angeles, CA
  • Memorial Art Gallery, Rochester, NY
  • Manchester Art Gallery, Manchester, UK
  • Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art, Manhattan, KS
  • Metropolitan Museum Of Art, New York, NY
  • Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee, WI
  • Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minneapolis, MN
  • Mint Museum of Craft + Design, Charlotte, NC
  • Mobile Museum of Fine Arts, Mobile, AL
  • Museum of Art, St. Louis, MO
  • The Museum of Arts and Design, New York, NY
  • Museum of Decorative Arts, Montreal, Canada
  • Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA
  • Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX
  • Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY
  • The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, MO
  • Nordenfieldske Kunstindustrimiseet, Oslo, Norway
  • Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA
  • Racine Art Museum, Racine, WI
  • Renwick Gallery, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC[5]
  • Rochester Institute of Technology, Bevier Gallery, NY
  • Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC
  • Spencer Museum of Art, Lawrence, KS
  • Toledo Museum of Art, Toledo, OH
  • University of New Hampshire Art Museum, Durham, NH
  • University of Utah Art Gallery, Salt Lake City, UT
  • Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, VA
  • Wichita Art Museum, Wichita, KS
  • The White House, Washington, DC

Public/corporate installations[edit]

  • American Express, New York, NY
  • Bausch and Lomb, Rochester, NY
  • Best Company, Richmond, VA
  • Dupont Center, Orlando, FL
  • Encyclopædia Britannica Company, Chicago, IL
  • Forbes Company, New York, NY
  • Gilman Foundation, New York, NY
  • Greater Rochester International Airport, NY
  • Gannett Corporation, Washington, DC
  • Hammerson Canada, Inc., Toronto, Canada
  • Johnson Wax, Racine, WI
  • Maccabees Mutual Life Insurance, Detroit, MI
  • Nationsbank, Atlanta, GA
  • Pillar Bryton Partners, FL
  • Rosecliff Investments, New York, NY
  • Steinway Company, Long Island City, NY
  • Sydney Bestoff, New Orleans, LA
  • Wolfsonian Foundation, FL


  • Patricia Bayer, editor. The Fine Art of the Furniture Maker, Conversations with Wendell Castle, Artist, and Penelope Hunter-Steibel, Curator, about Selected Works from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Rochester, NY; Memorial Gallery of Art of the University of Rochester, 1981.
  • Wendell Castle and David Edman, The Wendell Castle Book of Wood Lamination. VanNostrand Reinhold Publishers, 1980.
  • Davira S. Taragin, Edward S. Cooke, Jr., and Joseph Giovannini. Furniture by Wendell Castle. Hudson Hills Press, 1989.

Examples of work[edit]


  1. ^ "Wendell Castle, renowned 'father of the art furniture movement,' dies at 85". www.rit.edu.
  2. ^ "Leap of Faith: Wendell Castle exhibits at Carpenters Workshop Gallery in Paris". artdaily.com. Retrieved August 2013. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  3. ^ Yates, Joey. (30 November 2013). Wendell Castle Forms Within Forms. The Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft. Retrieved October 19, 2020.
  4. ^ "Arts Awards Recipients". Arts and Cultural Council for Greater Rochester. Retrieved 2010-03-19.
  5. ^ "Wendell Castle". Smithsonian American Art Museum. Retrieved August 24, 2018.

External links[edit]