Curious Objects: Object Philosophy 101

Benjamin Miller and Michael Diaz-Griffith Curious Objects

In an episode keyed to Art Carpenter’s Wishbone chair, scholar and curator Glenn Adamson shares his thoughts on the similarities and differences between art and design, hand-making and machine-making, and passion projects and professional ones, and reminds us how important it is to pay attention to the objects in our immediate proximity.

  • Wishbone chair by Art Carpenter, 1970. Walnut and leather; height 31 1/8, width 21 1/4, depth 21 1/2 inches. Yale University Art Gallery.

  • A photograph of Art Carpenter at work, c. 1985. Photograph courtesy of Espenet Carpenter Furniture.


Glenn Adamson is a Brooklyn-based curator, writer, and historian. He is currently senior research scholar at the Yale Center for British Art, and editor-at-large of The Magazine ANTIQUES. Between 2013 and 2016 he was director of the Museum of Arts and Design, New York, and was formerly head of research at the Victoria and Albert Museum, and curator at the Chipstone Foundation in Milwaukee. Adamson is the author of several books, most recently Fewer, Better Things: The Hidden Wisdom of Objects (2018).