Jacob Kulin
Boston, Massachusetts
Anodized aluminum, reclaimed oak

Jacob Kulin is an accomplished sculptor, metalsmith and furniture maker.

Kulin says, “I have long been inspired by antiques of all types, specifically those involving wood and craft. I grew up in south central Pennsylvania with parents that collected fine antiques and had a great appreciation for Asian Art. Therefore, I feel a connection to the Art Complex Museum’s history and collection. This bench design is influenced by the architecture of the museum, its Asian art and Shaker collection, as well as my own personal design interests.”

Comprised of four main elements, the bench is made of anodized aluminum, reclaimed white oak, and stainless steel. These components come together to create a larger single shape or composition with minimal connections to ensure strength and functionality. The design and installation allow for the bench to be temporary and safe with the look, feel, and quality of permanence. Meant to be placed within a sun/shade location this bench can offer a number of seating positions from side by side to straddling to lounging.

Benchmark is a sculptural bench that’s visually appealing, abstractly relates to existing architecture and artwork within, and offers seating to those exploring the museum’s new outdoor sculpture walk,” says Kulin.

“Please Approach the Bench” Exhibit

When renovations to the museum and its grounds were planned in 2020, it was decided by the designers and museum staff to include artist-made benches in the newly landscaped, “Woodland Path” sculpture garden. A call to artists was sent out and 25 artists from all six New England states sent proposals for outdoor seating. Curatorial staff and director Charles Weyerhaeuser voted on their favorites, and five benches were chosen. The artists each received a stipend to design, build, and loan their bench for a three-year period, after which the artist can offer them to the museum or take them back. Jacob Kulin’s bench was one of the five chosen.