Chest For Stereo, 1973 Stack-laminated and carved walnut, metal, leather, stereo components. Gift of Linda and Irwin R. Berman. 2005-9-1-a/e.
What is this?
Constructed of stack-laminated wood planks, carved and worked into a smooth body of organic form, bulbous on sides and curving in at center (roughly peanut-shaped); bisected along horizontal axis where lid, hinged at back, meets bottom of chest; bottom flows into base formed as tapering cylinder with domed foot; the lid with three up-curved projections at top center (central projection serves as grip to raise lid). Interior fitted with removable wooden housing for two stereo components: turntable on left, stereo/radio receiver on right; inset pierced with rows of circular holes in front of and behind receiver; black leather strap in center, one end attached to cavity of lid, the other attached to stereo housing.
Why is this in our collection?
From Aquisition Justification: "Castle was commissioned by Dr. Irwin Berman to make this chest as a stereo cabinet. This case piece is an outstanding example of the American studio furniture movement and is unique--one of only two chest types created in the early years of Castle's work. It is a variant of a blanket chest he crafted in 1968, housed in the collection of the University of Rochester, Memorial Art Gallery, Rochester, New York. Wendell Castle is a pivotal figure in the studio craft movement. His work, grounded in a sensibility that draws from the fine arts and his training in industrial design, spans the fields of design, craft, and sculpture, and reflects a diverse approach to a number... more