Bench, 1988

  • Wendell Keith Castle, American, 1932 - 2018

Amaranth (purpleheart), aluminum, and cowhide

  • Overall: 35 × 129 3/4 × 48 inches (88.9 cm × 3 m 29.6 cm × 121.9 cm)

Founders Society Purchase with funds from Art of Poland Associates



Contemporary Art after 1950

In 1986 the DIA commissioned furniture artist Wendell Castle to fashion a bench for the museum's permanent collection. Castle creates work that continually challenges accepted attitudes about the design, construction, and purpose of furniture. The aluminum framework was the first element constructed. Castle then began carving the armrests in the middle of the bench and the six legs from stack-laminated forms. The outer portions of the arms are constructed using lamination in which small pieces of wood are arranged in formations like brick walls to strengthen the joints.

Engraved, at the outside bottom of one of the central legs

the artist

1988-present, purchase by the Detroit Institute of Arts (Detroit, Michigan, USA)

Bulletin of the DIA 64, 2-3 (1988): p. 33 (fig. 22). Taragin, Davira. "Evolution of a Commission: a Wendell Castle Bench." Bulletin of the DIA 65, 1 (1989): pp. 49-59 (ill.).

Wendell Keith Castle, Bench, 1988, amaranth (purpleheart), aluminum, and cowhide. Detroit Institute of Arts, Founders Society Purchase with funds from Art of Poland Associates, 1988.19.