The Calder Foundation, a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization founded in 1987 by Alexander S. C. Rower and the Calder family, is dedicated to collecting, exhibiting, preserving, and interpreting the art and archives of Alexander Calder. The purposes of the Foundation include the furtherance of public knowledge and appreciation for the arts; the conduct of research in art history and related subjects, and the provision of the results of that research to the general public; the provision of facilities and programs to assist the education and development of artists; the preservation of Calder’s artistic legacy for scholarship, including the physical preservation of his works, archives, homes, studios, and environmental resources; and the conservation of natural resources and education in agriculture and sustainable environmental practices. The Foundation’s projects include collaborating on exhibitions and publications, organizing and maintaining the Calder archives, examining works attributed to Calder, and cataloguing the artist’s works. The Foundation also organizes its own exhibitions, lectures, performances, and events on Calder and on contemporary artists supported by the biannual Calder Prize and the Atelier Calder residency program in Saché, France.
The Calder Foundation has been charged with a collection of Calder works that is unsurpassed in both scope and depth. This collection is comprised of pieces from all periods of Calder’s life. It includes mobiles, stabiles, standing mobiles, wire sculptures, and monumental outdoor works, as well as oil paintings, works on paper, toys, pieces of jewelry, and domestic objects. At any given time, a large number of these works are on public view, either in traveling exhibitions or on long-term loan to institutions (see Current & Upcoming Exhibitions and Calder Around the World).
The Calder Foundation has amassed and organized an exhaustive archive on Alexander Calder and his work. The archive contains more than 26,000 historic photographs, dozens of films, and thousands of books, magazines, and press clippings, in addition to over 130,000 documents. Among these documents are collections of correspondence covering all aspects of Calder’s life and career; inventory records from Calder’s American and European dealers; catalogues and exhibition materials; bank statements; passports, visas, and travel documents; and extensive documentation of the creation of Calder’s monumental sculpture.
The Foundation has registered in its archive more than 22,000 works made by Calder, each documented by image, title, date, size, media, provenance, and publication and exhibition history. Updates to these records continue daily with research and correspondence between more than 4,000 museums, collectors, dealers, auction houses, and scholars worldwide.
Owners of works attributed to Calder are encouraged to register their works in the archive and to update the Foundation with any changes to their collections.
The archive is a resource for curators and scholars but it is not open to the general public. Some of the information on Calder’s work and life documented in the archive may be found on our website. Researchers may explore our extensive bibliography and exhibition history, archival photographs and ephemera, selected historical and contemporary texts, and a chronology spanning the artist’s career.