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First-Ever Smithsonian Craft Show Awards Go to Wendell Castle and Albert Paley

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The Smithsonian Craft Show has announced 81-year-old furniture artist Wendell Castle and 69-year-old sculptor Albert Paley as the first-ever winners of the fair’s inaugural Visionary Award. Conceived to “to celebrate artists who have risen to the pinnacle in the world of sculptural arts and design,” the award will be presented to Castle and Paley as part of the show’s April 10 through 13 run at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C.

Both seasoned veterans of their respective crafts, Castle and Paley have work in the permanent collections of over 100 museums.

Scottsville, New York-based American furniture artist Wendell Castle is known as the father of the art furniture movement and has been active in the worlds of sculpture, art education and design since the 1960s when he began teaching at the Rochester Institute of Technology.

Rochester-based Modernist metal sculptor Albert Paley, who also teaches at the Rochester Institute of Technology, was the first metal sculptor to be awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Institute of Architects.

The pair will receive their awards in a ceremony on April 9th and give a talk at the show on April 10th.

— Christopher Kareska (@cwoodskares)

(Photo: Craft Council)

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  1. Great article … everyone very excited that these two extraordinary artists will join us at the 2014 Smithsonian Craft Show.

    One small correction: Messrs. Paley and Castle will be giving their talk on Thursday, April 10 at 6:00 (not April 14). The program is titled “In Conversation” and Michael Monroe will be the moderator. Tickets can be purchased at or by calling 888-832-9554.

  2. Congratulations, Wendell. You are so deserving. My sister, myself and our friends have very fond memories of the night we had dinner with you and wife at your home with Dan Eaton as the chef.

  3. Congrats Wendell, I have respect for you as an artist and as a man…..having met only once many years ago I know the artist better… have done great things for your community and I trust your devotion to history.

  4. This is an exciting thing, and I am so proud to have these legendary artist in our community. What an exciting and well deserved award!

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