"Untitled" Mobile by Alexander Calder - National Gallery of Art East Building, Washington DC
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member Hikenutty
N 38° 53.500 W 077° 01.037
18S E 325046 N 4306689
Quick Description: This untitled mobile hangs in the central atrium of the National Gallery of Art East Building. The sculpture is by Alexander Calder, who invented the mobile and was commissioned by the NGA in 1973.
Location: District of Columbia, United States
Date Posted: 7/29/2008 11:55:12 AM
Waymark Code: WM4AE6
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Outspoken1
Views: 148

Long Description:
This untitled mobile hangs in the central atrium of the National Gallery of Art East Building. The sculpture is by Alexander Calder, who invented the mobile and was commissioned for the space by the NGA May 3, 1973. The piece was installed on November 18, 1977.

The mobile is constructed of aluminum and steel and weighs 920 pounds, and yet it seems to float effortlessly in the large atrium.

The following infomation about the sculptor is from the NGA's Website:

Alexander Calder, American, 1898 - 1976

Alexander Calder is perhaps best known for his large, colorful sculpture, which incorporates elements of humor and chance into uniquely engineered structures. Calder was born outside of Philadelphia to a successful, artistic family. His father and grandfather--both named Alexander Calder--were distinguished sculptors and his mother was a portrait painter. Although he initially studied mechanical engineering, receiving a degree from Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken, New Jersey, he eventually enrolled in the Art Students League in New York City (1923-1926) and studied painting with John Sloan and George Luks, among others. While working as a graphic artist on assignment at the zoo and circus, Calder discovered his facility for sketching animals. This subject would become a lifelong passion.

In 1927 Calder went to Paris. Initially he created small, movable wood and wire figures, which he then assembled into a miniature circus, complete with balancing acrobats and a roaring lion. The popularity of "Calder's circus" soon brought him in contact with other artistic innovators. In the early 1930s, inspired by the color and composition of Piet Mondrian's work, Calder created his breakthrough mobiles. At first these abstract sculptures were motorized; later Calder modified his design to allow free-floating movement, powered only by air currents. These signature works incorporated Calder's interests in physics, astronomy, and kinetics, and above all, his sense of play.

By 1933 Calder had returned to the United States, where his abstract-organic sculpture, both mobile and stationary, attracted considerable attention and acclaim. He settled in Connecticut and continued to produce innovative works on both a large and small scale. After 1950 Calder spent part of each year in France. In addition to the monumental sculptures that can be seen in the United States and Europe, Calder applied his whimsical and lyrical sense of design to media as diverse as metal jewelry and theater sets.

Title: Untitled

Artist: Alexander Calder

Media (materials) used: Aluminum and Steel

Location (specific park, transit center, library, etc.): National Gallery of Art East Building

Date of creation or placement: Commissioned in May 1973, placed on November 18, 1977

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wildernessmama visited "Untitled" Mobile by Alexander Calder - National Gallery of Art East Building, Washington DC 6/9/2019 wildernessmama visited it