Wendell Castle (November 6, 1932 – January 20, 2018) 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. 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.
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. 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.
- 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
- 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
- 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
- A collection of Castle's works, all currently residing at The Art Institute of Chicago.
- "Wendell Castle, renowned 'father of the art furniture movement,' dies at 85". www.rit.edu.
- "Leap of Faith: Wendell Castle exhibits at Carpenters Workshop Gallery in Paris". artdaily.com. Retrieved August 2013. Check date values in:
- Yates, Joey. (30 November 2013). Wendell Castle Forms Within Forms. The Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft. Retrieved October 19, 2020.
- "Arts Awards Recipients". Arts and Cultural Council for Greater Rochester. Retrieved 2010-03-19.
- "Wendell Castle". Smithsonian American Art Museum. Retrieved August 24, 2018.