Ghost Clock

  • Wendell Castle, Ghost Clock, 1985, bleached Honduras mahogany, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum purchase through the Smithsonian Institution Collections Acquisition Program, 1989.68, © 1985, Wendell Castle

At first glance Ghost Clock appears to be a grandfather clock hidden under a white sheet. However, a closer look reveals a masterful deception: this entire sculpture was hand-carved from a single block of laminated mahogany. With its meticulous detail, Castle re-created in wood the contours of soft, supple cloth, then completed the illusion by bleaching the drapery” white and staining the base of the clock” a walnut brown. This work is the last in a series of thirteen clocks the artist created in the 1980s; unlike the others, it lacks an inner mechanism. Its haunting stillness and silence suggest eternity–the absence of time.

Connections: Contemporary Craft at the Renwick Gallery, 2019

Title
Ghost Clock
Artist
Date
1985
Location
Dimensions
86 1424 1215 in. (219.062.238.1 cm)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Museum purchase through the Smithsonian Institution Collections Acquisition Program

Mediums
Mediums Description
bleached Honduras mahogany
Classifications
Highlights
Keywords
  • Object – other – linens
  • Object – furniture – clock
Object Number
1989.68
Palette
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI

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