Sculptor and furniture designer Wendell Castle (1932‒2018) carved a distinct artistic path over nearly six decades of a distinguished career. A pioneer in both sculpture and handmade furniture, he is widely regarded as the father of the American Studio Furniture movement. He developed signature techniques for shaping uniquely organic forms out of solid, stack-laminated wood and colorful gel-coated fiberglass. Even at the end of his life, he embraced technology, using 3D scanning, computer-aided design (CAD) software, and a computer numerical control (CNC) machine outfitted with router bits, affectionately dubbed “Mr. Chips.”
Castle is widely collected and his works are found in the permanent collections of more than 40 museums and cultural institutions around the world, including The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art, both in New York; the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, DC; the Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal, Quebec; and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Castle has also been the recipient of many honors and awards, including four National Endowment for the Arts grants, three honorary degrees, the American Craft Council Gold Medal, and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Brooklyn Museum of Art.