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Boise Art Museum Permanent Collection Pieces Featured in James Castle Retrospective
James Castle, Construction, Rooster, 20th century, found cardboard, string, pigment 9.75” x 10.5”. Purchased with funds from the Idaho Commission on the Arts and Museum Acquisition Funds. Collection of the Boise Art Museum.

BOISE, ID.- Boise Art Museum (BAM) is proud to support the Philadelphia Museum of Art with the loan of eleven artworks to their major exhibition James Castle: A Retrospective. The exhibition features 275 color wash pieces, constructions, and handmade books by Idaho artist James Castle (1899–1977), whose first museum exhibition was presented at Boise Art Museum in the early 1960s. Since then, BAM has amassed the largest publicly held collection of Castle’s art. The self-trained Castle, who was deaf from birth and never acquired the ability to speak, is now recognized as one of America’s best known Outsider artists. James Castle: A Retrospective is curated by Ann Percy, Curator of Prints and Drawings at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and is on display there from October 14, 2008, to January 4, 2009. The exhibition will also travel to the Chicago Art Institute.

An accompanying documentary video entitled James Castle: Portrait of an Artist, created by writer-director Jeffrey Wolf and produced by Philadelphia's Foundation for Self-Taught American Artists, is included with the illustrated exhibition catalog. The film shows numerous Castle artworks from Boise Art Museum’s collection and includes commentary by BAM’s Curator of Art, Sandy Harthorn. Harthorn curated Castle’s second (and subsequent) exhibitions at BAM, and fondly recalls meeting the artist in the mid-1970s. The catalog also features an essay by Boisean Jacqueline Crist of J Crist Gallery. A limited number of copies of the exhibition catalog, complete with bound-in DVD, are available for purchase in Boise Art Museum’s gift shop.

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