Boise's James Castle House Reveals Hidden Art

Apr 23, 2018

The restoration crew found new James Castle works hidden behind this wall in his house in Boise.
Credit Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

As the City of Boise prepares to open up the James Castle House this week to the public, the workers restoring the property say they have found new work by the artist hidden behind the walls of the home.

James Castle was a deaf, self-taught Idaho artist who used his drawings to communicate. The city purchased his Boise home and spent three years restoring the space for exhibits and an artist-in-residence program.

Rachel Reichert is the cultural sights manager on the project. She describes how the crew found the hidden art.

“We were removing sheetrock and we found work in the wall here in the gallery, so it was a really exciting day," says Reichert. "We found 11 pieces of artwork, they were all stashed in the wall, kind of left there for us to find."

Reichert says they found more than just Castle’s soot-and-spit drawings behind the wall.

“Drawing utensils, so lots of little pencils, couple socks, some more wadded up paper, tobacco pouch, so it was just this little time capsule of materials and artwork, it was very exciting,” says Reichert.

James Castle Collection and Archive gifted the 11 pieces, along with another 50 original Castle works, to the city. The pieces will be on display at the James Castle House when it opens Saturday.

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