Wendell Castle - Design New York Wednesday, June 11, 2008 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Allen H. Neuharth, Gannett Co. Inc., Rochester, New York

  • Catalogue Essay

    In the 1960s, Wendell Castle initiated his career-long fascination with the medium of wood. The curvilinear forms of his works recall those of Art Nouveau, while his mastery of the medium betrays an understanding of the key tenets of the Arts and Crafts movement. The artist’s earlier pieces are characterized by a strict adherence to the stack lamination technique, which permitted him to explore organic forms, and an emphasis on the material’s natural tonal qualities, as seen in the present lot. Exhibiting a discernible sculptural quality, Castle’s doors ambiguously straddle the boundary between form and function.
    From its humble beginnings in 1906, when Frank Gannett and his associates bought into the Elmira Gazette in Elmira, NY, Gannett Co., Inc. has grown into one of the most thriving, diverse news and information companies operating throughout the United States and internationally.  Allen H. Neuharth worked his way up through the ranks of Gannett to become its CEO in 1973.  He would hold this position through 1986, overseeing a period of intense growth including the founding of USA Today and an initiative to increase opportunities for minorities and women.  In 2004, Neuharth was honored with the Newspaper Association of America’s Lifetime Achievement Award for his many contributions to the communications industry.  This pair of doors was commissioned for Mr. Neuharth’s office at Gannett Co. Inc. headquarters in Rochester, NY.


Rare pair of doors

Walnut, walnut-veneered wood, smoked mirrored glass, zebrawood-veneered wood, brass.
Each: 98 3/4 x 29 3/4 x 8 1/2 in. (250.8 x 75.6 x 21.6 cm)
Base of one door incised “WC 76” (2).

$60,000 - 80,000 


12 June 2008, 2pm
New York