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.
Artist Wendell Keith Castle, American, 1932 - 2018
  • Bench
Date 1988
Medium amaranth (purpleheart), aluminum, and cowhide
Dimensions Overall: 35 × 129 3/4 × 48 inches (88.9 cm × 3 m 29.6 cm × 121.9 cm)
Credit Line Founders Society Purchase with funds from Art of Poland Associates
Accession Number 1988.19
Department Contemporary Art after 1950
Not On View
Signed 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.).