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

Exhibition Label

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 1/4 x 24 1/2 x 15 in. (219.0 x 62.2 x 38.1 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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