Calder Foundation

Archive

Life period
1946–1952

Type
Chronology 111

See highlights from 1946–1952 on the timeline International Distinction

1946

When Sartre visits Calder again at his studio in New York, the artist gives him Peacock, a mobile whose elements are cut from flattened 1940 Connecticut license plates.

Calder 1966, 188–89
1946

Thomas Emery’s Sons, Inc., commissions Calder to create a mobile, Twenty Leaves and an Apple, for the Terrace Plaza Hotel, Cincinnati, designed by Gordon Bunshaft of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill.

CF, project file
1946

The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, with twenty-nine illustrations by Calder and an essay by Robert Penn Warren, is published in New York by Reynal and Hitchcock.

CF, project file
22 January–3 March 1946

“Origins of Modern Sculpture” is presented at the Detroit Institute of the Arts and travels to the City Art Museum of St. Louis.

CF, exhibition file
25 January–7 February 1946

The Calders take a road trip to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and visit Edna and Keith Warner.

CF, Warner correspondence
15 April 1946

The Clay Club Gallery, New York, presents “Benefit: Exhibition of Sale of Sculpture to Help Raise Funds for the Sculpture Center” and includes a standing mobile by Calder.

CF, exhibition file
12 May 1946

Calder inquires with Willard whether she would be interested in having him make jewelry in gold, a material with which he is interested in working: I’d like to make some stuff in gold—but it makes a larger investment—shall we get into that racket?

CF, Calder to Willard, 12 May
5–6 June 1946

Calder takes his first transatlantic flight from New York to Paris to prepare for the exhibition at Galerie Louis Carré, Paris.

CF, passport
Calder in Paris (1946)
Calder in Paris, 1946
Calder in Paris, 1946
23 July 1946

The exhibition at Galerie Louis Carré is delayed and Calder returns to New York.

Calder 1966, 189; MoMA, Calder to Valentin, 6 August
12 August 1946

Calder and Louisa attend the premiere of Pádraic Colum’s play Balloon with mobile sets by Calder, performed at the Ogunquit Playhouse, Maine.

CF, Calder to Warner, July
30 August 1946

In a series of letters, Calder and Keith Warner begin discussing the terms of Calder creating gold jewelry for Warner’s wife: Would it be a fair proposition if I asked, as recompense, that you buy me an equal amount of gold? I have been wanting to make some more things of gold for Louisa and for

the kids (as “heirlooms”) but never seem to be able to afford the gold.

CF, Calder to Warner, 30 August
7 September 1946

Calder holds a performance of Cirque Calder in the family’s Roxbury studio for his daughters. I have to show the children how to run it so that they can carry on.

CF, Calder to Warner, 30 August
18 September–17 November 1946

Calder’s jewelry is included in the large group exhibition “Modern Jewelry Design” at the Museum of Modern Art, New York. Over the next two years, the show travels to museums in fifteen different cities throughout the United States.

CF, exhibition file
23 September 1946

Calder returns to Paris.

CF, passport
October–November 1946

Calder stays at Hôtel de Versailles, Paris.

CF, object file
1 October–15 November 1946

“4 Modern Sculptors: Brancusi, Calder, Lipchitz, Moore” is presented at the Cincinnati Modern Art Society.

CF, exhibition file
4 Modern Sculptors: Brancusi, Calder, Lipchitz, Moore (1946)
Installation photograph, 4 Modern Sculptors: Brancusi, Calder, Lipchitz, Moore, Cincinnati Modern Art Society, Ohio, 1946
Installation photograph, 4 Modern Sculptors: Brancusi, Calder, Lipchitz, Moore, Cincinnati Modern Art Society, Ohio, 1946
25 October–16 November 1946

Alexander Calder: Mobiles, Stabiles, Constellations” is on view at Galerie Louis Carré, Paris. Henri Matisse attends the exhibition. Along with photographs by Matter, the catalogue includes two essays—Sartre’s “Les Mobiles de Calder” and Sweeney’s “Alexander

Calder.”

CF, exhibition file
Alexander Calder: Mobiles, Stabiles, Constellations (1946)
Installation photograph, Alexander Calder: Mobiles, Stabiles, Constellations, Galerie Louis Carré, Paris, 1946
Installation photograph, Alexander Calder: Mobiles, Stabiles, Constellations, Galerie Louis Carré, Paris, 1946
Fall 1946

Jean Painlevé films Calder’s works in Paris. It is his second motion picture footage of mobiles in motion.

CF, project file
19–30 November 1946

Calder sails from Le Havre to New York on the John Ericsson.

Calder 1966, 194; CF, passport
11 December 1946

Irving Penn photographs Calder in Roxbury.

CF, photography file
Portrait of Calder (1946)
Portrait of Calder, 11 December 1946Photograph by Irving Penn © The Irving Penn Foundation
Portrait of Calder, 11 December 1946Photograph by Irving Penn

1947

7–29 January 1947

Calder’s work is on view at the Portland Art Museum, Oregon.

CF, exhibition file
12 February 1947

The Mirós and their daughter, Dolores, arrive in the United States. So I drove the LaSalle (open, top down) straight to La Guardia, and got there just in time. So we installed them in a little apt. on 1st Ave. (very nice), and then had a bite at Matisse’s.

CF, Calder to Warner, 15 February
17 February–16 March 1947

The San Francisco Museum of Art exhibits Calder’s work.

CF, exhibition file
Before 7 March 1947

The Mirós arrive at the Calders’ home in Roxbury for a visit.

SM, Miró to Sandberg, 7 March
Before 7 March 1947

Calder performs Cirque Calder at his home in Roxbury for the Mirós; Henri Seyrig (Director of the Institut Français d’Archéologie); and Henrique and Helena Mindlin.

SM, Miró to Sandberg, 7 March; CF, Calder 1955–56, 155
10–28 March 1947

Mattatuck Historical Society, Connecticut, presents “Alexander Calder.”

CF, exhibition file
20 April 1947

Miró celebrates his and Sandra’s birthday with the Calders at their apartment on East Seventy-second Street, New York. He gives Sandra a drawing and she gives the Mirós an ink and collage butterfly. Calder presents Miró with a mobile personage made of animal bones.

ASCR conversation with Mary Calder Rower, 16 November 1997
Personnage pour Joan Miró (1969)
Joan Miró with Personnage pour Joan Miró (1947) in his Palma de Mallorca studio, 1969Photograph by Francesc Català-Roca © Photographic Archive F. Català-Roca - Arxiu Fotogràfic del Collegi d'Arquitectes de Catalunya
Joan Miró with Personnage pour Joan Miró (1947) in his Palma de Mallorca studio, 1969Photograph by Francesc Català-Roca
4–26 May 1947

Kunsthalle Bern, Switzerland, presents “Calder, Léger, Bodmer, Leuppi.”

CF, exhibition file
Calder, Léger, Bodmer, Leuppi (1947)
Installation photograph, Calder, Léger, Bodmer, Leuppi, Kunsthalle Bern, Switzerland, 1947
Installation photograph, Calder, Léger, Bodmer, Leuppi, Kunsthalle Bern, Switzerland, 1947
After 5 May 1947

Calder trades the mobile Polygones noirs for Miró’s Femmes et oiseaux dans la nuit, a painting related to Miró’s mural for the Terrace Plaza Hotel.

CF, object file
26 May 1947

The Stable, New Haven, Connecticut, exhibits “Alexander Calder.”

CF, exhibition file
27 June–30 September 1947

Calder exhibits Explosive Object in the “Exposition de peintures et sculptures contemporaines,” Palais des Papes, Avignon.

CF, exhibition file
Exposition de peintures et sculptures contemporaines (1947)
Installation photograph, Exposition de peintures et sculptures contemporaines, Palais des Papes à Avignon, France, 1947Photograph by Joaquin Gomis © Bibliothèque Kandinsky, Centre Georges Pompidou, Fonds Cahiers d'art
Installation photograph, Exposition de peintures et sculptures contemporaines, Palais des Papes à Avignon, France, 1947Photograph by Joaquin Gomis
7 July–30 September 1947

“Exposition Internationale du Surréalisme” is organized by Breton and Duchamp for Galerie Maeght, Paris. Calder contributes a mobile and produces a lithograph for the catalogue, Le Surréalisme en 1947.

CF, exhibition file
8–15 July 1947

The Calders visit Long Island.

CF, Calder to Warner, 2 July; CF, Calder to Valentin, 15 July
10 July 1947

Carl Van Vechten photographs Calder.

CF, object file
Calder with The General Sherman (1947)
Calder with The General Sherman (1945), 1947Photograph by Carl Van Vechten © Carl Van Vechten
Calder with The General Sherman (1945), 1947Photograph by Carl Van Vechten
19 July–24 August 1947

“Alexander Calder / Fernand Léger” is presented at the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam.

CF, exhibition file
September 1947

Hans Richter’s film, Dreams That Money Can Buy, is finally released after being in production since 1945. Two sequences are made with Calder’s collaboration: “Ballet,” the fifth dream, and “Circus,” the sixth dream. The film wins the International Award for Best Original Contribution to the

Progress of Cinematography at the Venice Film Festival.

CF, project file
December 1947

Calder rebuilds the “Big Room” in his Roxbury house. We are rebuilding the room which burned four years ago (where we sat last time you were here). Over the next year, Calder raises the roof about five feet and installs steel sash windows in the southeast wall.

CF, Calder to Warner, 13 December
Ferns in the Roxbury house “big room (1950)
Ferns in the Roxbury house "big room," 1950Photograph by Herbert Matter © Calder Foundation, New York
Ferns in the Roxbury house "big room," 1950Photograph by Herbert Matter
9–27 December 1947

Alexander Calder” is on view at Buchholz Gallery/Curt Valentin, New York.

CF, exhibition file
Calder at Buchholz Gallery/Curt Valentin (1947)
Calder with Gamma and Sword Plant, Alexander Calder, Buchholz Gallery/Curt Valentin, New York, 1947
Calder with Gamma and Sword Plant, Alexander Calder, Buchholz Gallery/Curt Valentin, New York, 1947
25 December 1947

Calder’s daughter Mary has a painful molar extracted on Christmas Day. Calder takes the tooth and memorializes it in a silver wire, caged pendant, which he gives to her for Christmas.

ASCR conversation with Mary Calder Rower, 8 August 2007

1948

1948

Quadrangle Press publishes Selected Fables with etchings by Calder. Jean de La Fontaine is editor.

CF, object file
1948

Calder exhibits his work at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, Washington, D.C.

Lipman 1976, 334
Spring 1948

Calder meets Burgess Meredith, who later visits the Calders in Roxbury to discuss making a film about Calder and his mobiles. Calder suggests Matter as the cinematographer.

Calder 1966, 197
Spring 1948

Calder accepts Mindlin’s invitation to visit Brazil.

Calder 1966, 199
6 June–30 September 1948

For the XXIV Biennale di Venezia—the first Biennale of the postwar period—Calder’s Arc of Petals is included in a presentation of Peggy Guggenheim’s collection curated by art historian Giulio Carlo Argan.

CF, exhibition file
Summer 1948

The Calders drive to the Grand Canyon, Death Valley, Reno, and Lake Tahoe, where they spend two weeks with Kenneth and Peggy Hayes. After driving to Berkeley, they leave Sandra and Mary with the Hayes family, and fly to Los Angeles.

Calder 1966, 198–99; ASCR conversation with Mary Calder Rower, 23 October 1997
28 August 1948

Louisa’s mother, Louisa Cushing James, dies.

Calder 1966, 255
7 September 1948

Calder and Louisa arrive in Mexico City, where they stay at the Hotel Prince. They visit with Fernando Gamboa, director of the Museo de Bellas Artes, and with filmmaker Luis Buñuel and his family.

Calder 1966, 198–99
8 September 1948

Calder and Louisa arrive in Panama. I insisted on taking Louisa in a taxi to Panama City, to see the crazy traffic and open buildings I had seen sixteen years before, when a fireman on the S.S. Alexander.

Calder 1966, 198–99
9 September 1948

Calder and Louisa arrive in Trinidad.

Calder 1966, 198–99; CF, passport
10 September 1948

From Trinidad, the Calders fly to Belém, Brazil. On the plane they meet writer John Dos Passos.

CF, passport; Calder 1966, 199
11 September 1948

Calder and Louisa arrive in Rio de Janeiro.

CF, passport
September 1948

The Ministerio da Educaçao e Saude presents “Alexander Calder.” The catalogue includes “Les Mobiles de Calder” by Sartre, “Alexander Calder” by Mindlin, and statements by Breton, Nancy Cunard, and Sweeney.

CF, exhibition file
Ministério da Educação e Saúde (1948)
Installation photograph, Alexander Calder, Ministério da Educação e Saúde, Rio de Janeiro, 1948
Installation photograph, Alexander Calder, Ministério da Educação e Saúde, Rio de Janeiro, 1948
October–November 1948

Museu de Arte, São Paulo, Brazil, presents “Alexander Calder.”

CF, exhibition file
23 October 1948

The Calders throw a farewell party before departing Rio de Janeiro. Calder improvises decorations and hangs them on the wall. Heitor Dos Praceres (Hector of the Pleasures), a Negro painter and friend of ours, had an excellent samba band, so we decided that they should come sixteen strong …The party took place

in the little house where I worked. Two days before, Lota wrote to Eugenio [Lage] in New York, saying that if he did not see any objection we would have a party there.

CF, object file; Calder 1966, 203
29 October 1948

The Calders embark from Rio de Janeiro for the United States.

CF, passport
November 1948

In Berkeley, Calder and Louisa are reunited with their children. The family spends a week with the Hayes family before driving back across country with side trips to Sante Fe, New Mexico, and Texas.

Calder 1966, 204; CF, passport; ASCR conversation with Mary Calder Rower, 23 October 1997
11 December 1948–3 January 1949

Buchholz Gallery/Curt Valentin, New York, presents “Alexander Calder Recent Mobiles, 1948.”

CF, exhibition file
20 December 1948

Calder exhibits a work on paper in “A Comparison of Primitive and Modern: 40,000 Years of Modern Art” at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London.

CF, exhibition file

1949

1949

Calder creates mobiles for Symphonic Variations, choreographed by Tatiana Leskova with music by César Franck. The dance is performed in Rio de Janeiro.

CF, object file
8–31 March 1949

Museu de Arte Moderna, São Paulo, presents “Do Figurativismo ao Abstracionismo” and includes five works by Calder.

CF, exhibition file
Before 2 May 1949

Upon returning home from Brazil, Calder crafts a large brooch for Henrique Mindlin’s wife, Helena. The brooch is in the form of a figa—a hand with the thumb curled under the forefinger—a symbol of luck in Brazil. Thank you, thank you, thank you ever so much for the most beautiful figa I have ever

seen. You managed to make many females terribly envious of me, and this makes me oh! so happy! Calder eventually makes at least twenty pieces of jewelry in the figa motif, nearly all as gifts for family and friends.

CF, Mindlin to Calder
After 6 May 1949

Calder’s mother, Nanette, goes to live full time with the Calders in Roxbury.

CF, Nanette to Calder, 6 May
15 May–11 September 1949

Calder constructs his most ambitious mobile to date, International Mobile, for the Third International Exhibition of Sculpture, Philadelphia Museum of Art in collaboration with the Fairmount Park Art Association.

CF, exhibition file
Calder installing International Mobile (1949)
Calder installing International Mobile, Third International Exhibition of Sculpture, Philadelphia Museum of Art, 1949Photograph by Herbert Gehr © Life Magazine
Calder installing International Mobile, Third International Exhibition of Sculpture, Philadelphia Museum of Art, 1949Photograph by Herbert Gehr
Summer 1949

Calder builds a house for his mother on the Roxbury property.

CF, Nanette to Calder, 6 May
Calder with daughters Sandra and Mary, Grandma’s house (1949)
Calder with daughters Sandra and Mary, Grandma's house, Roxbury, 1949
Calder with daughters Sandra and Mary, Grandma's house, Roxbury, 1949
25 October–12 November 1949

“Calder” is presented at the Margaret Brown Gallery, Boston.

CF, exhibition file
Calder (1949)
Installation photograph, Calder, Margaret Brown Gallery, Boston, 1949Photograph by George M. Cushing Jr.
Installation photograph, Calder, Margaret Brown Gallery, Boston, 1949Photograph by George M. Cushing Jr.
28 October–11 December 1949

The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, presents “Calder & Sculpture Today,” with works by Jean Arp, Alexander Archipenko, Constantin Brancusi, Calder, and Alberto Giacometti, among others.

CF, exhibition file
30 November–17 December 1949

Buchholz Gallery/Curt Valentin, New York, exhibits “Calder.” The catalogue includes “The Studio of Alexander Calder” by Masson and illustrations by Calder of the objects exhibited.

CF, exhibition file

1950

6 January 1950

Happy As Larry, a play written by Donagh MacDonagh and directed by Burgess Meredith with sets by Calder, opens in New York at the Coronet Theatre.

CF, project file
4–10 May 1950

The Calder family sails from New York on the Ile de France and arrives in Le Havre.

CF, passport
Ile de France (1950)
Calder and Louisa Calder dancing on the ship Ile de France, 1950Photograph by Louis Hamon
Calder and Louisa Calder dancing on the ship Ile de France, 1950Photograph by Louis Hamon
Mid-May 1950

In Paris, the Calders rent an apartment for four months on rue Penthièvre from their friend, Médé Valentine.

CF, passport; Calder 1966, 204; CF, Calder to Warner, 5 February
30 June–27 July 1950

Galerie Maeght, Paris, exhibits “Calder: Mobiles & Stabiles.” Calder, encouraged by Christian Zervos (publisher of Cahiers d’Art) to exhibit at Galerie Maeght, also illustrates the catalogue and the exhibition poster. The Nationalmuseum, Stockholm, purchases a mobile

and the Musée National d’Art Moderne, Paris, purchases Le 31 Janvier.

CF, exhibition file; Lipman 1976, 334
July 1950

The Calders travel around France visiting the caves of Lascaux, and Ritou Nitzschke and André Bac in La Roche Jaune, Brittany.

Calder 1966, 206; Lipman 1976, 334
2–8 August 1950

The Calders leave Paris and take a train to Antwerp. From there, the family takes a Finnish ship Arcturus to Helsinki.

CF, passport
9–13 August 1950

The Calders visit Maire Gullichsen, who takes them to her villa, Mairea, in Norrmark for a week.

Calder 1966, 206
14 August 1950

The Calders leave from Turku, Finland, and take a boat to Stockholm, arriving the next day. They stay in the Grand Hotel and visit Eric Grate, a Swedish sculptor.

CF, passport; Calder 1966, 208
26–27 August 1950

Departing Malmö, Sweden, the Calders take a train through Denmark and Germany, and arrive in Paris.

CF, passport; Calder 1966, 208
31 August–11 September 1950

The Calders depart Paris for Antwerp, set sail the next day on the Europa, and arrive in New York.

CF, passport; Calder 1966, 208
October 1950

Matter photographs Calder’s Roxbury studio and home.

CF, photography file
Calder, Roxbury studio (1950)
Calder, Roxbury studio, 1950Photograph by Herbert Matter © Calder Foundation, New York
Calder, Roxbury studio, 1950Photograph by Herbert Matter
12 November 1950

Calder is selected by the New York Times Book Review as one of the ten best children’s book illustrators of the last fifty years.

New York Times, 12 November
5 December 1950–14 January 1951

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, exhibits “Calder,” a retrospective. Sweeney installs the exhibition while Calder recovers from an automobile accident.

CF, exhibition file; Calder 1966, 209
Calder at MIT(1950)
Installation photograph, Calder, New Gallery, Charles Hayden Memorial Library, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, 1950Photograph by Ezra Stoller © Esto
Installation photograph, Calder, New Gallery, Charles Hayden Memorial Library, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, 1950Photograph by Ezra Stoller

1951

24 January 1951

After two years of production, Works of Calder previews at the Museum of Modern Art. The film was directed by Matter and produced and narrated by Burgess Meredith, with music by John Cage.

CF, project file
5 February 1951

Calder participates in a symposium, “What Abstract Art Means to Me,” at the Museum of Modern Art in conjunction with their exhibition “Abstract Painting and Sculpture in America.” The idea of detached bodies floating in space, of different sizes and densities, perhaps of different

colors and temperatures, and surrounded and interlarded with wisps of gaseous condition, and some at rest, while others move in peculiar manners, seems to me the ideal source of form.

Calder 1951
After March 1951

Calder performs Cirque Calder at the Sert’s home in Lattingtown, New York.

MS, photography collection; CF, correspondence file
17 April–2 June 1951

Institute of Contemporary Arts, Washington, D.C., exhibits “Sculptures by Alexander Calder.”

CF, exhibition file
April 1951

In Washington, D.C., Calder sees Jean Davidson, a friend he had first met in 1944, and invites him to visit Roxbury.

Calder 1966, 212
15 August 1951

Eero Saarinen writes to Calder proposing a commission for a sculpture and fountain at the General Motors Technical Center, Warren, Michigan. Calder suggests a fountain without any sculpture.

CF, Saarinen to Calder, 15 August; CF, Saarinen to Tykle, 28 September
Water Ballet (1956)
Water Ballet, General Motors Complex, Michigan, 1956
Water Ballet, General Motors Complex, Michigan, 1956
18–19 August 1951

Calder presents Cirque Calder in Roxbury.

CF, correspondence file
September 1951

Cage’s score for Works of Calder wins first prize at the Art Film Festival in Woodstock.

CF, project file
14 October–4 November 1951

Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, presents “Calder–Miró.”

CF, exhibition file

1952

15 January–10 February 1952

Curt Valentin Gallery, New York, exhibits “Alexander Calder: Gongs and Towers.” The catalogue texts are “Alexander Calder’s Mobiles” by Sweeney and “Calder” by Léger, with drawings by Calder of the objects exhibited.

CF, exhibition file
Alexander Calder: Gongs and Towers (1952)
Installation photograph, Alexander Calder: Gongs and Towers, Curt Valentin Gallery, New York, 1952Photograph by Adolph Studly © Adolph Studly
Installation photograph, Alexander Calder: Gongs and Towers, Curt Valentin Gallery, New York, 1952Photograph by Adolph Studly
19 March 1952

Calder arrives in Paris and stays with Paul Nelson.

CF, passport; CF, Calder and Nelson to Louisa, 19 March
After 19 March 1952

I must have met Henri Pichette at lunch with Giacometti in Paris. Now he wanted me to decorate his new play: Nucléa

Calder 1966, 209–210
April 1952

Calder designs the sets and costumes for Nucléa, written by Henri Pichette. The costumes include two large silver necklaces and a silver bracelet.

CF, project file; Calder 1966, 209–10
Set for Nucléa (1952)
Set for Nucléa, 1952Photograph by Agnès Varda © Agnès Varda
Set for Nucléa, 1952Photograph by Agnès Varda
3 May 1952

Calder and Louisa attend the opening of Nucléa at the Théâtre du Palais de Chaillot, Paris. Directed by Jean Vilar with music by Maurice Jarre, the play is performed by Théâtre National Populaire.

CF, project file; Calder 1966, 210
6–10 May 1952

Galerie Maeght, Paris, exhibits “Alexander Calder: Mobiles.”

CF, exhibition file
Mid-May 1952

The Calders visit Masson and his family in Aix-en-Provence. They ask Masson to find them a house to rent for the following year. From Aix-en-Provence they travel to Varengeville.

Calder 1966, 210–11; Lipman 1976, 334
Calder with the Masson family (1952)
Calder with the Masson family, Aix-en-Provence, 1952
Calder with the Masson family, Aix-en-Provence, 1952
29–30 May 1952

Louisa flies from Paris to New York. Calder leaves Paris on 30 May and arrives in Italy to prepare his works for the XXVI Biennale di Venezia.

CF, passport
3 June 1952

Calder returns to Paris.

CF, passport
6–7 June 1952

Calder flies from Paris and arrives in New York.

CF, passport
14–19 June 1952

Calder represents the United States in the XXVI Biennale di Venezia. Sweeney installs the exhibition and writes a short text for the exhibition catalogue. Calder wins the Grand Prize for sculpture.

CF, exhibition file
Venice Biennale (1952)
The Big Ear (1943) outside the American Pavilion at the Twenty-sixth Venice Biennale, 1952
The Big Ear (1943) outside the American Pavilion at the Twenty-sixth Venice Biennale, 1952
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