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Castle, Wendell

Castle, Wendell, 1932–2018, American furniture designer, b. Emporia, Kans., grad. Univ. of Kansas (B.F.A. 1958, M.F.A. 1961). Trained as an industrial designer and sculptor, he became the preeminent postwar American furniture designer, creating pieces that were as much sculpture as furniture. His most creative period encompassed the late 1980s and early 90s. Idiosyncratic, sinuous, and biomorphic, his frequently whimsical furniture is primarily carved and glued out of wood using a stack lamination technique that allowed him to create large, solid forms that would not crack. He also worked in fiberglass, plastic, concrete, metals, and stone, and made use of computers, laser-scanning, and robots to produce his pieces. His work is found in many American museum collections. Castle also was a teacher and artist in residence at the Rochester Institute of Technology.

See W. Castle and D. Edman, The Wendell Castle Book of Wood Lamination (1980); catalogue raisonné by E. Evans Eerdmans and G. Adamson (2016); The Fine Art of the Furniture Maker: Conversations with Wendell Castle (1981); studies by D. S. Taragin and E. S. Cooke (1996), G. Holcomb (2005), L. Blackledge and B. Woodard (2008), A. Gordon and E. Snyderman (2012), and L. S. Sims and R. T. Labaco (2016).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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