Lot 77

Monumental Wendell Castle Arch Clock from Masterpieces of Time Exhibition
American, 1985. Arch clock designed by Wendell Castle (American, b. 1932), composed of Brazilian rosewood, curly maple, gold-plated brass, wind and electrical movements with chimes; ht. 91.5, wd. 56.5, dp. 19 in. 

Wendell Castle is one of America's greatest craftsmen. He expresses his artistic vision through the sculpting of furniture. He is best known for his use of exotic woods and rich decorative materials in the creation of exquisite furniture that has a sculptural emphasis. In the early 1980s, Castle embarked on one of his most ambitious and significant projects, the design and execution of monumental tall-case clocks, which culminated in 1985 in the exhibition Masterpieces of Time. The exhibition included Arch clock and twelve additional tall-case clocks by Castle.  The clocks evoke the human form, "architectural references from the past...and artistic and thematic paradoxes which epitomize the ambiguous nature of time and the eclectic spirit of modern architecture." (Milliken Inc. exhibition press release, 1985). A number of the clocks in the exhibition were acquired by private and corporate collectors and by museums, including Ghost clock by the Renwick Gallery (Washington, D.C.) and Dr. Caligari clock by the Memorial Art Gallery (Rochester, New York).

The Arch clock is one of the most architectural of the designs. Castle stated, "The arch is the most important form in architecture and I put the clock in the center to highlight its importance." In addition to its reference to the Roman arch, the clock alludes to the Empire period with the use of rosewood, and Egyptian imagery with the headdress form of the arch and the pyramid form at the base. The hands of the clock, gold-plated glass hemispheres, rotate around the face. The clock opens to shelves on one side and the clock's movements are contained in the other side. There is a game at the bottom which utilizes gold balls on the stepped pyramid. At almost eight feet tall, Arch clock stands as one of Castle's most impressive works. 

PROVENANCE
The Humana Corporate Art Collection
Purchased from Alexander F. Milliken Inc. in 1989 for $180,000

EXHIBITION HISTORY
Masterpieces of Time, Taft Museum of Art, Cincinnati, Ohio, September 12-October 27, 1985
Alexander F. Milliken Inc., New York, November 2-December 20, 1985
Renwick Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., December 24, 1985-May 4, 1986

LITERATURE
Jeffrey Schaire, "Wendell Castle's Clocks," Art and Antiques (October 1985), pp. 67-69. 
Lisa Hammel, "A Woodworker's Show of Clocks," The New York Times, November 14, 1985. 
Lisa Hammel, Time and Defiance of Gravity: Recent Works by Wendell Castle (North Haven, CT, 1986), p. 10, p. 15.
Sarah Booth Conroy, "Art Around the Clock," The Washington Post, January 1, 1986.
Edward Lucie-Smith, "Time Capsules," Art News (March 1986), p. 114
A.U. Chastain-Chapman, "Fine Time: Wendell Castle's Baker's Dozen," American Craft (April/May 1986), p. 19, p. 22. 


Please note, due to the size of this lot, it will only be available for preview in our Cincinnati Salesroom.  Condition requests can be directed to pauline@cowans.com.  
This item can only be shipped using a freight service or picked-up at our Cincinnati Salesroom.  Shipping requests can be directed to shipping@cowans.com. 

Est $20000 - $40000