John & Maxine Belger Family Foundation
Belger Arts Center
Press Release
Wendell Castle - Abilene - Belger Arts Center - Kansas City
Wendell castle
Abilene, 2008
Stainless Steel
30 1/2 x 52 x 30 inches
Edition 5 of 8
Courtesy of Barry Friedman Ltd. NY, NY
Photographed by: Jon Lam

Wendell Castle - Naiad - Belger Arts Center - Kansas City
Wendell castle
Naiad, 2010
Stained Mohogany with Oil Finish
34 1/4 x 42 x 27 inches
Edition 7 of 8
Courtesy of Barry Friedman Ltd. NY, NY
Photographed by: Jon Lam

Wendell Castle - Topeka - Belger Arts Center - Kansas City
Wendell Castle
Topeka Clock, 2009
Polycoromed fiberglass
99 3/4 x 66 3/4 x 39 inches
Edition 2 of 8
Image and Clock Courtesy of Barry Friedman Ltd. NY, NY

Wendell Castle - Calypso Chair - Belger Arts Center - Kansas City
Wendell Castle
Calypso Chair, 2010
Stained Mahogany with Oil Finish
32 5/8 x 39 x 29 3/4 inches
Courtesy of Barry Friedman Ltd. NY, NY
Photographed by: A. Spencer Tsai

Click images for detailed view.


One of America's Most Revered Artist/Designers Returns to Home Region
February 11, 2011

KANSAS CITY, MO – The Belger Arts Center is happy to welcome home one of our region's most honored artists with “Wendell Castle in the 21st Century.” This exhibit, featuring more than a dozen recent works, will show a range of materials. Castle established himself in the early 1960s with his ground-breaking woodwork. We will have works made from ash, mahogany, walnut and bubinga; alongside new works made from stainless steel and polychromed fiberglass. The exhibit opens on First Friday, March 4, and runs until First Friday, June 3.

Born in Emporia, KS, Castle studied Industrial Design at the University of Kansas, earning a BFA in 1958 and an MFA in Sculpture in 1961. Ever since, he has been carving out his own niche in the creative community. Castle creates innovative objects. Some may be used as furniture. Castle has let the critics worry about categories over the years. The work speaks for itself, whether it is wood, metal, or plastic. As he approaches his 79th birthday later this year, we thought it would be fitting to host this look at his recent work.

Today, Castle's work can be found among the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, and most of the major collections around the world, including the Belger Collection. In the 1980s Castle was commissioned by the Steinway piano company to design their 500,000th piano. Castle's piano, titled “Grand of the Artists”, toured worldwide and was signed by over 800 noted pianists.

In an interview in the New York Times last summer Castle remembered a gallery show in the early 1970s that resulted in zero sales:

“There are people who collect design now. At that time, there was no field thought of as 'design.' There was craft and there was fine art, and they were far apart in those days. While I wanted my work to have the art audience, the craft audience was much more interested in my woodwork... Art galleries used to not show work that they thought could have any sort of use. There's quite a few people whose work 30 years ago might have been in a craft category who are showing in prestigious galleries now.”

Since the early 1960s, Castle has been a teacher and an artist-in-residence at the School for American Craftsmen in Rochester, NY. In 1998 he founded the Wendell Castle Collection featuring hand- crafted objects made by world-class craftsmen and women. In 2007 Castle was given the Lifetime Achievement Award for Excellence in Design by the Brooklyn Museum of Art. He has also been similarly recognized by the James Renwick Alliance, the American Craft Museum, and many other arts organizations.

Click here to listen to a Wendell Castle interview from KCUR. You will have the option to stream the program directly or to download the Podcast.

Read what Alice Thorson and Nick Malewski of the Kansas City Star and Review have to say about the current exhibition.

Update: Wendell Castle in the 21st Century was named the Staff Pick by Stacy Downs of the Kansas City Star.


Belger Arts Center Statement.

The Belger Arts Center is located at 2100 Walnut Street (one block east of Main) in the Belger Cartage Service building. The gallery is open Wednesday through Friday from 10 am – 4 pm, Saturday from noon – 4 pm, non-holiday First Fridays from 10 am – 9 pm, and by appointment.

The office for the Belger Arts Center is open Monday through Friday from 8 am – 4:30 pm. For more information please visit or contact Gallery Assistant Mo Dickens at (816) 474-3250 or Email at

Since March of 2000 the Belger Arts Center has hosted more than 40 exhibitions featuring a variety of media including fiber, ceramics, painting, sculpture, digital projections, and innovative design. More than 60,000 visitors from six continents have attended exhibits and other events at the Belger Arts Center.


  The Belger Arts Center - 2100 Walnut, 3rd Floor - Kansas City, MO 64108 - Office: (816) 474-3250  
  The Belger Arts Center is located on the 1st & 3rd floors at 2100 Walnut St. Kansas City, MO in the Crossroads Arts District.
Open Wed-Thur-Fridays 10am-4pm & Saturdays Noon-4pm or by appointment. Open "First Fridays" of each month until 9pm.
Exhibition is always free and open to the public. Please call to schedule tours for groups 10 or more.

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