Italian poplar, gesso, aniline dye, and acrylic paint
H. 84, W. 107, D. 24 in. (213.4 x 271.8 x 61 cm)
Gift of Peter T. Joseph, 1998
Not on view
This screen is from a suite of furniture inspired by the classic German Expressionist horror film The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1919); the stark, angular sets created disconcerting warped perspectives, heightening viewers' fears and anxiety (its title is an unsettling play on silent movies, in which characters are seen but not heard). Castle, one of the foremost woodworkers in the post-World War II American studio craft movement, furthers the disorienting, nightmarish quality of this sharply angled, planar screen by offsetting its blue-black painted decoration which evokes the look of the black-and-white film.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Recent Acquisitions of Twentieth-Century Design and Architecture," June 29–November 14, 1999, no catalogue.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Significant Objects," November 26, 2002–May 2, 2004, no catalogue.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Classic/Fantastic: Selections from the Modern Design Collection," December 21, 2007–April 5, 2009, no catalogue.
Davira Taragin et al. Furniture by Wendell Castle. Exh. cat., Detroit Institute of Arts. New York, 1989, p. 83 (desk and chair from the same series).