Copied Arthur Espenet Carpenter, Staircase, 1969, hyedua and oak, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of David L. Davies and Jack Weeden, 1998.15A-S

Artwork Details

sight 19284 in. (487.7213.4 cm)
Credit Line
Gift of David L. Davies and Jack Weeden
Mediums Description
hyedua and oak
Object Number

Artwork Description

This graceful structure by Arthur Espenet Carpenter comprises fourteen curved, interlocking steps radiating around a center post. As Carpenter intended, the intrinsic warmth of the wood and the organic forms encourage interaction along multiple fronts, including movement up and down the steps and pushing and pulling the propeller-like treads. It is a staircase for imagining: the spiral steps mimic curved forms of nature, pushing against the grain of right angles and square rooms.

This Present Moment: Crafting a Better World, 2022


Quilt featuring the portrait of a woman
This Present Moment: Crafting a Better World
May 13, 2022April 2, 2023
This Present Moment: Crafting a Better World showcases the dynamic landscape of American craft today. The exhibition highlights the role that artists play in our world to spark essential conversations, stories of resilience, and methods of activism—showing us a more relational and empathetic world. It centers more expansive definitions and acknowledgments of often-overlooked histories and contributions of women, people of color, and other marginalized communities.