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Alexander Calder, American, 1898 - 1976

Made in United States, North and Central America


Metal rods, painted sheet metal

Length: 34 feet (1036.3 cm) Weight: 225lb. (102.06 kg)

© Calder Foundation, New York / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Curatorial Department:
American Art

* Great Stair Hall Balcony, third floor

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
Purchased with the New Members Fund, 1965

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Alexander Calder produced his first moving sculptures, which Marcel Duchamp dubbed “mobiles,” in the early 1930s. Using cutout shapes reminiscent of natural forms (birds, fish, falling leaves), Calder created floating three-dimensional worlds in constant flux. The large mobile Ghost installed in the Museum's Great Stair Hall was created to hang in the center of the Guggenheim Museum in New York for Calder’s exhibition there in 1964.

Born in Philadelphia, Calder was third in a line of distinguished sculptors from this city. The Swann Fountain in Logan Circle was created in 1924 by his father, Alexander Stirling Calder (1870–1945). On top of City Hall is the thirty-six-foot-high statue of William Penn by Calder’s grandfather, Alexander Milne Calder (1846–1923), who also designed all the stone sculptural ornament for the City Hall building.

* Works in the collection are moved off view for many different reasons. Although gallery locations on the website are updated regularly, there is no guarantee that this object will be on display on the day of your visit.