A giant in his field

Castle known as father of the art furniture movement

Wendell Castle, a 1951 graduate of Holton High School who went on to become recognized as “the father of the art furniture movement,” died recently at his home in upstate New York, it has been reported. He was 85.

Castle, who was trained as an industrial designer and sculptor, was a teacher and artist-in-residence at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) at Rochester, N.Y., until his death, and he also taught at the College at Brockport of the State University of New York. He was best known for his “art furniture” works, created over a period of about 60 years, that combined vision, craft, innovation and humor.

“I invent, distort, deform, exaggerate, compound and confuse as I see it,” he wrote for a 2016 exhibition of his work at RIT. “I obey only my own instincts, which often I do not understand myself. I often draw things I do not understand, but am secure in the knowledge that they may at some point become clear and meaningful.”

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