Where We Are Audio Guide Playlist
David Breslin: The group of work here is by an artist named James Castle. They are very different types of work that one sees here—from depictions of interiors to landscape, constructions, to books that Castle fabricated.
Narrator: David Breslin is the DeMartini Family Curator and Director of the collection.
David Breslin: Castle was born in rural Idaho, and later lived in Boise, Idaho. He was drawing from a very early age, and the way that he drew was completely of his own creation. Instead of using purchased materials, he came up with his own form of medium which combined soot from the furnace with spit that he would then apply to found paper.
Castle was born Deaf and his access to the world through language was limited, but his visual access to the world was almost infinite, as you will see in these drawings. The idea that what is closest to hand could be the subject for one’s art, that the familiar can also be the most mysterious when translated into one’s art form, and the idea that—really one of the foundational ideas for making art is to become more aware of the things that are part of one’s everyday life—are really at work in Castle’s drawings.
James Castle (1899-1977), Interior with Stove and Wood Box, c. 1931-1977. Stick-applied soot and spit on found paper, sheet (Irregular): 7 × 10 1/2in. (17.8 × 26.7 cm). Whitney Museum of American Art; gift of an anonymous donor 2001.35 © James Castle Collection and Archive / Boise, Idaho
- 700 Introduction to Where We Are
- 701 Jacob Lawrence, War Series, 1946-47
- 702 Georgia O'Keeffe, Music, Pink and Blue No. 2, 1918
- 702-2 Georgia O'Keeffe, Music, Pink and Blue No. 2, 1918
- 703 Marsden Hartley, Painting, Number 5, 1914–1915
- 710 Morris Louis, Tet, 1958
- 710-2 Morris Louis, Tet, 1958
- 711 Jay DeFeo, The Eyes, 1958
- 712 Barnett Newman, Day One, 1951-52
- 713 Joseph Stella, The Brooklyn Bridge: Variation on an Old Theme, 1939
- 721 Henry Koerner, Mirror of Life, 1946
- 721-2 Henry Koerner, Mirror of Life, 1946
- 722 Edward Hopper, New York Interior, 1921
- 723 James Castle, Drawings
- 730 Archibald Motley, Gettin' Religion, 1948
- 731 Arshile Gorky, The Artist and His Mother, 1926-c.1936
- 732 Thomas Hart Benton, Poker Night (from A Streetcar Named Desire), 1948
- 740 Charles Sheeler, River Rouge Plant, 1932
- 741 Elsie Driggs, Pittsburgh, 1927
- 742 Elizabeth Catlett, Prints
- 743 Frank Stella, Die Fahne hoch!, 1959
- 744 Charles Demuth, My Egypt, 1927
- 750 Jasper Johns, Three Flags, 1958
- 750-2 Jasper Johns, Three Flags, 1958
- 751 Isamu Noguchi, Humpty Dumpty, 1946
- 752 Edward Hopper, Early Sunday Morning, 1931
- 752-2 Edward Hopper, Early Sunday Morning, 1931