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Castle’s last works in Kansas City exhibit

The Wendell Castle exhibit at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.

The Wendell Castle exhibit at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.

The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, Mo., opened “Wendell Castle: Shifting Vocabularies”, on June 23 featuring the last works by the iconic studio furniture maker.

Castle, who died in January at the age of 85, was a first-time exhibitor at a Nelson-Atkins show in 1960. The current exhibit includes five large works in the museum’s Bloch Building and four on the lawn of the Donald J. Hall Sculpture Park. It is scheduled to be on display through Jan. 20, 2019.

“Wendell Castle was an innovator who turned furniture into an art form and an experience,” Stefanie Kae Dlugosz-Acton, the museum’s assistant curator, said in a statement. “The strength of his work lies in subtlety, and there’s a coyness about it that’s so interesting. The organic nature of his art is a clear response to both materials and form.”

Born in Emporia, Kansas in 1932, Castle is considered the father of the art furniture movement, and he continually pushed boundaries during his prolific career of more than 60 years. Trained as an industrial designer and sculptor at the University of Kansas, Castle moved to New York in the early 1960s to teach at the School of American Craftsmen at the Rochester Institute of Technology in New York. He set up a studio in nearby Scottsville, and began his professional career making sculptural furniture with a chainsaw. Castle developed a stack lamination process, allowing him to create virtually any shape out of wood.

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The “New Work by Faculty” exhibit includes this cabinet by Owain Harris.

The “New Work by Faculty” exhibit includes this cabinet by Owain Harris.

Faculty exhibit

The Center for Furniture Craftsmanship in Rockport, Maine, is holding its annual “New Work by Faculty” show through Sept. 12.

“As we celebrate the Center’s 25th year, the summer faculty show highlights the ongoing vitality of design and craftsmanship in wood,” said Peter Korn, the center’s director. “A new generation of makers has clearly found its voice, and easily shares the floor with internationally renowned woodworkers who have been the backbone of our faculty for decades.”

Several of the faculty exhibitors reside in Maine, including Linden Frederick of Belfast; Mark Juliana of Rockland; Jim Macdonald of Burnham; Mason McBrien of Union; Michaela Crie Stone of Rockport; Tim Rousseau of Appleton; Jacques Vesery of Damariscotta, and Ken Wise of Brunswick.

The “New Work by Faculty” exhibit includes this guitar by Jim Macdonald. 

The “New Work by Faculty” exhibit includes this guitar by Jim Macdonald. 

International exhibitors include Canada’s Adrian Ferrazzutti, England’s Tom Kealy and Chris Pye, Aled Lewis of Wales, and Austraiia’s David Upfill-Brown of Australia.

Other exhibitors include Shannon Bowser and Reed Hansuld of Brooklyn, N.Y.; Jonathan Brower of Newport, R.I.; Mark Gardner of Saluda, N.C.; Garrett Hack of Thetford Center, Vt.; Owain Harris of Center Barnstead, N.H.; Beth Ireland of St. Petersburg, Fla.; Clark Kellogg of Houston; Jerry Kermode of Sebastapol, Calif.; Mike Korsak of Pittsburgh; Kristin LeVier of Moscow, Idaho, and Joshua Vogel of Kingston, N.Y.

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This article originally appeared in the August 2018 issue.

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