We acknowledge the Gadigal of the Eora Nation, the traditional custodians of the Country on which the Art Gallery of NSW stands.


Untitled (bedroom, armoire/post office interior)


James Castle

1899 – 1977

  • Details

    Media categories
    Drawing , Mixed media , Drawing
    Materials used
    soot on found paper
    13.3 x 18.4 cm sheet; 27.9 x 32.1 x 3.8 cm frame
    Purchased with funds provided by the Mervyn Horton Bequest 2021
    Not on display
    Accession number
    © James Castle Collection and Archive LP

    Reproduction requests

    Artist information
    James Castle

    Works in the collection


  • About

    One of three works in the Gallery’s collection by self-taught American artist James Castle, Untitled (bedroom, armoire/post office interior), offers an intimate view of the artist’s expansive world.

    Born deaf in 1899 (d.1977), Castle didn't become proficient in conventional means of communication, but, from an early age, developed a daily routine of documenting the world around him, using only the means available to him. Using soot scraped from his family’s woodstove then mixed with saliva, Castle worked on found card or paper with a sharpened stick, creating a deeply observant and moving account of his daily life.

    The set of three drawings in the Art Gallery of New South Wales’ collection, characteristically depict Castle's surrounds growing up in central Idaho. It's a telling group, Untitled (bedroom, armoire/post office interior), portrays a room in his home in Boise (also the local post office), in Untitled (farmscape/farmscape), a view of the family farm depicts one of the surreal (and recurring) sculptural forms in his drawings, and in Untitled (studio), Castle has drawn a view of the attic of the house which he used as his studio, where one can see his many artworks lined up on the rafters. As John Vincler commented in the New York Times, "While Castle’s intentions cannot be discerned, the pleasure comes in puzzling out the connections in his vast and often mysterious visual universe."

  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 1 exhibition

Other works by James Castle