Brooch

Alexander Calder, American, 1898 - 1976

Date:
c. 1940

Medium:
Brass; steel wire

Dimensions:
4 1/4 x 3 3/16 inches (10.8 x 8.1 cm)

Copyright:
© Estate of Alexander Calder / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Curatorial Department:
American Art

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:
2011-94-2

Credit Line:
Gift of Jane Goldstone Hilles in memory of her parents, John Lewis and Jeannette Kilham Goldstone, 2011

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Alexander Calder redefined sculpture through his iconic mobiles and stabiles, and his metal jewelry was equally innovative. Beginning in the late 1920s, the artist made jewelry using extremely simple methods of shaping wire or sheet metal. Their bold, simple shapes evoked prehistoric and non-Western sources of design, and their aggressively-hammered and sawn surfaces further underscored their “primitive” quality.

This brass and steel wire brooch is a characteristic example of the designs he produced for sale through trunk shows and gallery exhibits. Made from sawn and hammered sheet metal, it appears in his 1938 design book and remained in production for several years afterward.