These Terms and Conditions apply to the web site located at www.calder.org (the “Web Site”) which is the property of the Calder Foundation. By using this site, you agree to the following Terms and Conditions (the “Terms”); if you do not agree to the Terms then do not use this Web Site. The Calder Foundation reserves the right to modify the Terms at any time. Your subsequent use of the Web Site constitutes your acceptance of the modified Terms; you should therefore periodically visit this page to review the Terms.
All content included on the Web Site is protected by copyright laws. Software, documentation, electronic text and image files, audio and video clips, and other materials are protected by copyright laws, trademark laws, and various other intellectual property and unfair competition laws. The Calder Foundation retains all rights to all works of art by Alexander Calder depicted on this site, including copyright, in data, image, text, and any other information contained in these files. Copyrights and other proprietary rights in the material on this Web Site may also subsist in individuals and entities other than, and in addition to, the Calder Foundation. The Calder Foundation expressly prohibits the copying of any protected materials on the Web Site, except as provided for herein.
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Unauthorized commercial publication, exploitation or distribution in any manner of the Web Site, or any portion thereof, and/or the Calder Foundation’s files, text, data and images, is specifically prohibited. Such uses require the advance written permission of the Calder Foundation or its representatives listed below. Permission for such use is provided for on a case-by-case basis at the sole discretion of the Calder Foundation through its rights administration societies and collecting societies.
The uses described above are monitored, protected, and enforced by Artists Rights Society throughout the world except in Australia, France, Italy, the Republic of Ireland, New Zealand, the Republic of San Marino, Spain, the United Kingdom and the Vatican City. Below is listed the contact information for each rights administration society or collecting society representing the Calder Foundation’s intellectual property based on their territories. Anyone wishing to use any of these files or images for commercial use, publication, or any purpose other than fair use as defined by law, must request and receive prior written permission from the Calder Foundation.
To request permission for reproduction throughout the world, except in Australia, France, Italy, the Republic of Ireland, New Zealand, the Republic of San Marino, the United Kingdom, and the Vatican City, of any of the works of art on this Web Site, please contact the Artists Rights Society, 536 Broadway, 5th Floor New York, NY 10012, (212) 420-9160, 420-9286 FAX.
To request permission for reproduction in the Republic of Ireland or the United Kingdom of any of the works of art on this Web Site, please contact the Design and Artists Copyright Society (DACS), 33 Great Sutton Street, London EC1V 0DX, ENGLAND, (+44) 20 7336 8811, (+44) 20 7336 8822 FAX.
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To request permission for reproduction in Italy, the Republic of San Marino, or the Vatican City of any of the works of art on this Web Site, please contact the Socièta Italiana degli Autori ed Editori (SIAE), viale della Letteratura, 30, 00144 Roma, ITALY, (+39) 06 599 01, (+39) 06 5990 2319 FAX.
To request permission for reproduction in Australia or New Zealand of any of the works of art on this Web Site, please contact Viscopy, 233 Castlereagh Street, Level 15, Sydney, NSW 2008, AUSTRALIA, (+61) (0)2 9310 2018, (+61) (0)2 9310 3864 FAX.
To request permission for reproduction in Spain of any of the works of art on this Web Site, please contact VEGAP, Calle Nuñez de Balboa, 25, Madrid 28001, SPAIN, (+34) 91.532.6632, (+34) 91.522.5432 FAX.
The content posted on the Web Site is made available for limited non-commercial, educational, and personal use only, or for fair use as defined in the United States copyright laws. In such cases, users are encouraged to contact the Foundation with any questions. Users must cite the author and source of this material as they would material from any printed work; the citation should include the URL “http://www.calder.org”. By downloading, printing, or otherwise using text and image files from this Web Site, users warrant and represent that they will limit their use of such files to fair use, and will not violate the proprietary rights of the Calder Foundation or the rights of any other party.
Reservation of Rights
All rights not expressly granted by the Calder Foundation herein are specifically and completely reserved. Nothing on the Web Site grants, expressly or implicitly, by estoppel or otherwise, any right or license to use any content or property of any third party, or may be construed to mean that the Calder Foundation has authority to grant any right or license on behalf of any third party.
Conditions of Use
By using the Web Site you warrant that you will not make use of the Web Site for any illegal or improper purpose. By using the Web Site, you agree to indemnify and hold harmless the Calder Foundation from any and all liability caused by or arising out of any use whatsoever made by you of the Web Site or its content.
The Calder Foundation will not be held responsible for any expense, loss, or grievance incurred by the use of the Web Site. No endorsement or recommendation of any kind is given or implied. The Web Site and all content is provided “AS IS” WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND EITHER EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR USE, AND/OR NON-INFRINGEMENT. The Calder Foundation does not warrant that the Web Site will be error free or uninterrupted, nor does it warrant that files or data downloaded will be free of viruses or destructive features. The Calder Foundation shall not be liable for any indirect, consequential, incidental, or punitive damages of any kind, even if the Calder Foundation has been advised of the possibility of such damages. The Calder Foundation is not responsible for the content of any off-site pages or other sites linked to the Web Site. Your use of links to any off-site pages or other sites is at your own risk. The Calder Foundation reserves the right to terminate your access to the Web Site or any portion thereof.
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All requests concerning the use of images of Calder and his works must be addressed to one of the following copyright societies representing the Calder Foundation:
USA (and countries not listed below)
Artists Rights Society (ARS)
65 Bleecker Street
New York, NY 10012
(212) 420-9160 tel, (212) 420-9286 fax
Société des Auteurs dans les Arts Graphiques et Plastiques (ADAGP)
11, rue Berryer
(011.33) 1 43 59 09 79 tel, (011.44) 1 45 63 44 89 fax
Design and Artists Copyright Society (DACS)
33 Old Bethnal Green Road
London E2 6AA
(011.44) 20 7336 8811 tel, (011.44) 20 7336 8822 fax
Società Italiana degli Autori ed Editori (SIAE)
Sezione Olaf, Arti Visive
Viale della Letteratura, 30
(011.39) 06 599 01 tel, (011.39) 06 59 90 23 19 fax
Rafael Julián Esquivias
Visual Entidad de Gestión de Artistas Plásticos (VEGAP)
Calle Nuñez de Balboa, 25
(011.34)91.532.6632 tel, (011.34)91.522.5432 fax
Copyright Agency / Viscopy
Level 11, 66 Goulburn Street
Sydney NSW, 2000
(011.61)(0)2.9394.7600 tel, (011.61)(0)2.9394.7601 fax
All requests for images of Calder and his works should be addressed to the following agency that provides images available for publication:
536 Broadway, 5th Floor
New York, NY 10012
(212) 505-8700 tel, (212) 505-2053 fax
The purpose of Registration is to document works attributed to Alexander Calder in the archives of the Calder Foundation. The resulting archives have become an invaluable resource for scholars and curators.
Owners of works attributed to Alexander Calder are encouraged to apply to register their works in the archive by completing an Application for Registration. In addition to the Application, owners should provide copies of letters, invoices, and other documents and information pertinent to the work. An accurate photograph of the work must be included to ensure precise identification. All materials submitted become the property of the Foundation.
The Foundation registers works at its sole discretion. The submission of an Application for Registration does not guarantee registration of the work and, further, does not in any way create a contract between the owner and the Foundation for the purpose of authentication or other related matters.
Owners requesting information about their work from the Foundation may apply for an examination (see Examination of Works below).
You may download a PDF of the Application for Registration here.
The purpose of Examination is to obtain information about a work attributed to Alexander Calder from the Calder Foundation.
Owners of works attributed to Alexander Calder requesting information may apply to the Foundation for a physical examination of their work. Examinations are scheduled a few times a year at the Calder Foundation in New York City. The Foundation does not charge a fee for the examination.
For the Foundation to consider the examination of a work, the owner must submit an Application for Registration, a professional color digital image (see Guidelines for the Photograph below), as well as a written request for an examination.
If the Foundation agrees to examine the work, the owner will be provided with an Examination Agreement, a schedule of upcoming examinations, and details pertaining to the examination day. All required materials, including the executed Examination Agreement, must be accepted by the Foundation at least one week prior to the date of a scheduled examination to be considered for that date.
After a work is presented for examination, it is the responsibility of the owner to contact the Foundation to request the verbal results of the examination. The Foundation does not provide certificates of authenticity and does not assist with appraisals or valuations.
To request an examination, please contact us directly.
We require a professional color digital photograph submitted in TIFF format. The digital photograph must be shot in high resolution (at least 300dpi at 25”) and present all aspects of the work in crisp detail. The work should be set against a seamless, contrasting background so that all the details are clearly visible. Soft or bounced lighting should be used so that shadows are minimized. Three-dimensional works should have all their elements turned fully to face the camera so that their true shapes can easily be discerned and all near and far elements should be sharply focused. Works with horizontal elements are best photographed from slightly below so that the horizontals do not appear as mere slivers. Wires should not cross nor elements overlap. Two-dimensional works should be removed from frames and mounting so that the signature and all edges of the paper are clearly visible.
Conservators as well as owners of works interested in consulting the Calder Foundation on the condition or conservation of a work attributed to Alexander Calder are welcome to contact us. We recommend sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with images that clearly show the work and its condition issues along with the details or a description of the work.
This curriculum is intended as an outline that teachers and museum educators can use to teach children about the life and art of Alexander Calder (CALL-der) in conjunction with a Calder exhibition. It contains suggested areas of discussion, questions to raise, and points to touch upon. The topics and questions are for all grade levels and can be edited to be appropriate and understandable for each age group as educators see fit. It should not be viewed as a script; the intention is to allow for the vital and stimulating learning that results when we allow for spontaneity, and must therefore be in part directed by students' questions and discoveries.
This curriculum is designed to be a one day workshop for students. It can also be modified to become a multi-session program, making separate sections of group discussion/history, viewing, writing, and 2 or more studio sessions.
Some educational institutions may choose to place more emphasis on the writing component of the program, extending this to allow for further writing which may take place back in the classroom. This curriculum is easily modified for a more extensive writing segment to be inserted.
The Pre-Viewing Discussion should not be a formal lecture; it should be kept brief and should serve to provide context, both of Calder's life and his place in the history of art. Include basic information on Calder's life and work (see following biography). A few biographical notes go a long way toward giving some sense of who the artist was, where he lived (especially relevant to children if the show is taking place in an area where Calder might have lived or worked or had a major exhibition, etc.), and the times and culture in which he lived and how this contributed to his views and his work.
In teaching Calder, avoid perpetuating erroneous and misleading statements about him: while Calder did occasionally make toys for the children in his life, he was not a "tinkerer" who made a group of playthings. Calder did not conceive of his work as toys. Such statements minimize his intellectual achievements.
Likewise, situating Calder in the history of art by showing art of, or images of art from, various time periods and cultures is intended to convey how startlingly innovative Calder's art is. Children have an almost immediate love of Calder's work, yet they don't necessarily have the art historical knowledge to appreciate that his work exhibits a dramatic departure from the qualities and traits that sculpture shared for thousands of years. This needn't be an especially lengthy or time consuming component of the workshop, but is a valuable and rewarding concept to grasp. There are very few artists about whom it can be said single-handedly created a new art form. Calder's work challenged existing principles of modern sculpture and defined him as the most innovative sculptor of the 20th century. Presenting Calder's art in the context of world sculpture historically drives home this point dramatically and underscores the enormity of his achievement. Depending on the time schedule and the layout of the museum, it may be easier to incorporate this discussion after the viewing, perhaps in the studio before hands-on construction begins.
By way of introduction, students should be told at this point that what they are about to see is very different from the way that sculpture had been conceived of until then. Ask them to name famous sculptures, or sculptures they have studied recently. Show images of Egyptian, Greek/Roman, Rodin, Moore, and/or Brancusi, conveying the span of time covered by these works. Discuss briefly the attributes of these traditional sculptures: the materials used (stone, bronze, etc.), the massive quality (solid, no open spaces), and the static nature of the works.
Suggested topics and questions for the Viewing portion of the workshop are intended to teach children how to begin to talk about (and hence write about) Calder's work. As stated, this can be modified for different age groups, but it is important to convey to all levels the concept of sculpture that contains open space, volume without mass, balance, and movement, and especially how movement creates an ever-changing composition. Additionally, students should be told that one of Calder's innovations was the use of simple industrial materials in art: steel, aluminum, and wire.
Convey also that Calder invented the mobile (MOH-beel). It is an art form that did not exist prior to his creation of it.
In allowing the children to pick a work that they especially like and spend more time with it, they are provided with a chance to study an individual work in-depth and to notice details, such as construction and materials. This process of understanding a work of art is enhanced if they prepare their observations to share with the group.
Once in the gallery, a sweeping view of the room should launch a discussion of how different these works are from the images they have just seen in the Pre-Viewing Discussion: the use of space as a component of the sculpture; individual elements separated from each other by wire, rod or string; abstract vs. representational sculpture; the use of materials not previously or rarely used in art (found objects and industrial materials of steel, wire, and plates of metal); the prevalence of primary colors and black and white, and, of course, the use of balance, movement, and the role of chance.
The class as a group is then taken to key works and specific points can be made at each work:
First, a wire sculpture, comparing it to an early 1930s continuous line drawing if there is one present in the show, discussing the differences in the two: two dimensional representation of three dimensions vs. translating that to space, i.e., drawing in space with wire. Discuss also the use of open space in the wire sculpture, economy of line, how it contains volume without mass, etc.
Next a mobile, noting the industrial materials from which it is made, watching if it is moving, discussing how it is a constantly changing composition that moves incorporating the elements of chance, and walking around the work to experience the variable composition. Discuss balance and how the work appears to have been constructed, noting that wires do not cross, nor do elements collide unless the artist designed it that way.
Ask the group if the work conveys a mood or feeling.
Next a stabile: even though this work doesn't move, how is it still very different from the images they had seen of traditional sculpture? Does it still look like it might move or "wants" to move? How would it if it could?
Next a standing mobile, noting that it is a combination of a stabile and a mobile, and discussing the use of a base and how this work differs from a hanging mobile, noting how the point of balance has been shifted to include the floor. How does gravity act on both a hanging and standing mobile?
If there is a Constellation present in the show, students can consider how this work is different from the other Calder works. It should be pointed out that these works were made during World War II and the artist carved wooden elements because metal was scarce. This can prompt discussions of both the artist's materials and the things that sometimes affect the selection of those materials, and how art is affected by war and other calamitous events.
Students can then finish viewing that room on their own or in small groups, with teachers and museum staff moving continuously through the room to keep the focus and answer questions.
After the entire show has been viewed, students are told to return to a work that they especially liked and spend more time with it, noticing what it is made of, what colors it is painted, if it makes them think of anything, if it makes them feel anything, and if there is an area, element, or curve that they find pleasing. It should be conveyed that they can like a part of the work or find a shape pleasing without necessarily having a reason why.
After a short period students are invited to bring the whole group over to the work they have chosen and share with the group their observations; i.e., their answers to the above questions, beginning with what the work is called, and what it is or appears to be made of, and then what they like about it.
Children can write about what they have just seen ("explain the show to a friend who isn't here today," for example), about the works they especially liked, about the show overall, or make notes about the gallery experience to expound upon later back in the classroom. Or, children can write a poem based on their experience of the show or a specific work. Or, they can make up a story in which they go back in time to visit with the artist and watch him work in his studio. What does he say? What do they see?
The Studio portion of the workshop is conducted as an exercise in trial and error to allow for the thrill of retracing the artist's discoveries and to appreciate the difficulties in creating a mobile that incorporates movement and balance. It must be reiterated that students are not allowed to copy any work they have seen—not only does this defeat the purpose of developing personal expression, but it instills a disregard for copyright laws.
Begin by invoking an image of a seesaw and a discussion about the following: what happens if you are on one side of a seesaw and a bigger kid gets on the other side? Why? What happens if two kids get on one side? What happens if you are on one side and a kid who weighs the same as you gets on the other side? Show an image of a hanging scale (pan balance). What happens if you put coins in the pan on one side? Discuss fulcrums. Practice balancing a pencil across the tip of your finger to find the center of balance.
Beginning with a length of wire, students then construct mobiles, being told not to directly copy any work they have seen, but rather use what they have seen as inspiration to create their own sculptures. They can use any combination of elements cut in any shape they want from paperboard, and/or found objects, wood, etc. Elements can be attached directly to wire, or can be hung from wire by string, or any combination of techniques. When completed the work is painted. A trial and error approach is used to attempt to make a mobile that balances. What is required to take a work that is not balancing properly, and make it balance?
Studio II: An add-on studio experience for a 2-day program
Students sketch a still-life using one continuous line, or alternately create a continuous line drawing of a scene or object from memory.
Using 22 gauge aluminum wire, students make a wire sculpture of something other than what they have just drawn—an object, animal, or portrait—making sure to expand it into the third dimension to create depth. The work should not be merely a flat wire drawing in one plane. Various lengths and pieces of wire can be cut and added on to achieve this.
Accommodations should be made before the workshop to allow the mobiles to be hung as they are being constructed and when they are complete. At the close of the day, each student's art is hung and the class walks around viewing one another's work.
Images of stone, bronze, and/or terra-cotta sculpture from different periods of history; an image of a hanging scale; and 22 gauge aluminum wire, scissors, paper, wood, found objects, fabric, pencils, glue, paint, paperboard, masking tape, string, and pliers.
Alexander "Sandy" Calder was born into a family of renowned artists who encouraged him to create from a very young age. As a boy, he had his own workshop where he made toys for himself and his sister. He received a degree in mechanical engineering in 1919 but soon after decided to pursue a career as an artist. Calder attended classes at the Art Students League in New York from 1923 to 1925, supporting himself by working as an illustrator.
In 1926 Calder arrived in Paris where he developed his Cirque Calder, a work of performance art employing small-scale circus figures he sculpted from wire, wood, cloth, and other materials. Through these elaborate performances, Calder met members of the Parisian avant-garde. At the same time, Calder sculpted three-dimensional figurative works using continuous lengths of wire, which critics described as drawings in space. He explored ways to sculpt volume without mass and to capture the essence of his subject through an economy of line and articulated movement. Calder's wire works then became increasingly gestural, implying motion. By the end of 1930, this direction yielded his first purely abstract sculptures.
After translating drawing into three dimensions, Calder envisioned putting paintings into motion. He developed constructions of abstract shapes that can shift and change the composition as the elements respond to air currents. These sculptures of wire and sheet metal (or other materials) are called "mobiles." A mobile laid flat exists only as a skeleton, a reminder of its possibilities, but when suspended it seems to come alive.
Calder also developed "stabiles," static sculptures that suggest volume in multiple flat planes, as well as standing mobiles, in which a mobile is balanced on top of a stabile. Calder furthered his work by developing a monumental scale. His later objects were huge sculptures of arching lines and graceful abstract shapes that now inhabit public plazas worldwide.
Calder was an artist of great originality who defined volume without mass and incorporated movement and time in art. His inventions redefined certain basic principles of sculpture and have established him as the most innovative sculptor of the twentieth century.
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