Wishbone Chair Maker: Arthur Espenet Carpenter (American, 1920–2006)


American Decorative Arts

This chair by Art Carpenter is richly evocative of the revival of crafts in the United States following World War II and represents the idea of the self-taught furniture maker. Other related objects in the collection are the chair by George Nakashima and the print table by Sam Maloof.


Walnut and leather


31 × 21 1/4 × 21 1/2 in. (78.7 × 54 × 54.6 cm)

Credit Line

Yale University Art Gallery

Accession Number



20th century


Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of records is ongoing.



This is one of a pair of chairs that turned up at the Western States Antiques Fair in Manhattan Beach, California, on 31 July 1999. The dealers offering the chairs said that they purchased the chairs from a neighbor of theirs, Reed Arnaud, who was moving into a retirement home. Arnaud, a painter who is in his late eighties, had purchased the chairs from Art Carpenter. The second chair was purchased by doctoral candidate Glenn Adamson.
  • Jeannine Falino, Jennifer Scanlan, and Glenn Adamson, Crafting Modernism: Midcentury American Art and Design, exh. cat. (New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 2011), 228, fig. 11.3
  • Edward S. Cooke, Jr., Gerald W. R. Ward, and Kelly H. L'Ecuyer, The Maker's Hand: American Studio Furniture, 1940–1990, exh. cat. (Boston, Massachusetts: MFA Publications, 2003), 45, no. 16
  • "Acquisitions, 1999," Yale University Art Gallery Bulletin (2000), 161
Object copyright
Additional information

Object/Work type



Stamped on underside of proper left side rail "Espenet"/7060

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