Chest For Stereo (USA), 1973
Stack-laminated and carved walnut, metal, leather, stereo components.
Gift of Linda and Irwin R. Berman. 2005-9-1-a/e.
- Designed by Wendell Castle
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?
This chest, by 20th-century American designer and craftsman Wendell Castle, is an outstanding example of the American studio furniture movement. Commissioned as a stereo cabinet, it is a variant of a blanket chest he crafted in 1968 that is now housed in the collection of the Memorial Art Gallery, University of Rochester, Rochester, New York. It is also one of only two chest types created in the early years of Castle’s work. Castle is a pivotal figure in the studio craft movement. His work is grounded in a sensibility that draws from both the fine arts as well as his training in industrial design, and reflects a diverse and exacting approach. His work spans the fields of design, craft, and sculpture, and... more