Ghost Clock

Media - 1989.68 - SAAM-1989.68_2 - 118457
Copied Wendell Castle, Ghost Clock, 1985, bleached Honduras mahogany, 86 1424 1215 in. (219.062.238.1 cm), Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum purchase through the Smithsonian Institution Collections Acquisition Program, 1989.68, © 1985, Wendell Castle

Artwork Details

Title
Ghost Clock
Date
1985
Location
Not on view
Dimensions
86 1424 1215 in. (219.062.238.1 cm)
Copyright
© 1985, Wendell Castle
Credit Line
Museum purchase through the Smithsonian Institution Collections Acquisition Program
Mediums
Mediums Description
bleached Honduras mahogany
Classifications
Keywords
  • Fantasy — ghost
  • Object — furniture — clock
  • Object — other — linens
Object Number
1989.68

Artwork Description

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

Exhibitions

Media - 2016.11 - SAAM-2016.11_6 - 124929
Connections: Contemporary Craft at the Renwick Gallery
November 13, 2015March 6, 2022
Connections is the Renwick Gallery’s dynamic ongoing permanent collection presentation, featuring more than 80 objects celebrating craft as a discipline and an approach to living differently in the modern world.