Calder Foundation


Life period

Chronology 154

See highlights from 1963–1976 on the timeline Monumental Works

31 May 1972

The Calders sponsor an ad in the New York Times calling for Richard Nixon’s impeachment: Upon the Impeachment of Richard Nixon, for high crimes and misdemeanors, the Constitution of the United States, provides that he, among others shall be removed from office . . .

for conviction of, treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.

New York Times, 31 May
14 June–20 August 1972

The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, presents “A Child’s Summer with Calder and Miró.”

CF, exhibition file
September–October 1972

Sala Pelaires, Palma de Mallorca, presents “Calder.” Miró writes a poem for the catalogue.

CF, exhibition file
10 October–11 November 1972

Perls Galleries, New York, exhibits “Alexander Calder: Oil Paintings.”

CF, exhibition file
15–30 November 1972

Fuji Television Gallery Co., Ltd., Tokyo, presents “Calder / Miró.”

CF, exhibition file
December 1972–January 1973

Galerie Beyeler, Basel, presents “Miró / Calder.”

CF, exhibition file



Calder gives the Mercury Fountain to the Fundació Joan Miró, Barcelona. The museum was designed by Sert. The fountain is installed in June 1975.

CF, project file

Calder donates a lithograph, Balloons, to the Nicaragua Earthquake Relief, organized to aid the victims of the earthquake in Managua.

CF, project file
24 January–24 February 1973

Galerie Maeght, Paris, exhibits “Calder: Recent Mobiles.” The catalogue text includes “Retour au mobile” by Maurice Besset and “Calder ou le poids de l’air” by André Balthazar, with cover and illustrations by Calder.

CF, exhibition file
24 May–July 1973

Galerie Maeght, Zurich, exhibits “Alexander Calder: Retrospektive.” C. Giedion-Welcker writes the introduction for the catalogue.

CF, exhibition file
4 June 1973

The Board of Trustees of the National Gallery of Art commissions Calder to make a monumental sculpture for its new building. The mobile, designed specifically for the central court of the National Gallery’s East Building, is completed and installed after Calder’s death in


CF, project file
3 October–3 November 1973

Perls Galleries, New York, exhibits “Calder at 75–Works in Progress.”

CF, exhibition file
10 October 1973

Calder attends the dedication ceremony for the monumental stabile Stegosaurus at the Alfred E. Burr Memorial Mall in Hartford. Following the event, he receives an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts from the University of Hartford.

CF, project file
22 October 1973

Calder visits the new Dallas-Fort Worth Airport to view the DC-8-62 jet Flying Colors, his commission from Braniff International Airways. He hand paints Sunburst and Beastie on the port-side engine cowlings.

New York Post, 31 October; Lipman 1976, 339
30 October–2 November 1973

Flying Colors makes its inaugural flight from Dallas Love Field to Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York City—where the Calders disembark—before continuing to Washington D.C., Miami, and Latin America.

Friends on board with the Calders include Ruth and Leonard Horwich, Jean Lipman, Dorothy Miller, Nancy Mulnix, Elodie and Robert Osborn, Andi Schlitz, and Leslie and Rufus Stillman; family members include the Calders’ daughter Mary, who is joined by husband Howard and sons Holton and Alexander, and Calder’s sister, Peggy.

Lipman 1976, 339; CF, project file



The film Gouaches de Calder, directed by Carlos Vilardebó, is released.

CF, project file

Prompted by Calder’s project with Braniff International Airways to paint a DC-8 jet, French auctioneer and racecar driver Hervé Poulain commissions Calder to design the first-ever BMW Art Car. After construction, testing, and maintenance, the car is painted in 1975.

CF, object file
Calder in front of his BMW Art Car (1975)
Calder in front of his BMW Art Car with Hervé Poulain, Jean Marie Curien, Jean Louis Maesen, and Jochen Neerpasch, Saché, 1975Photograph by Jean-Marie Bottequin
Calder in front of his BMW Art Car with Hervé Poulain, Jean Marie Curien, Jean Louis Maesen, and Jochen Neerpasch, Saché, 1975Photograph by Jean-Marie Bottequin
February 1974

Calder accepts the Commandeur de la Légion d’Honneur of France; Michel Debré, the former French premier, presents the award.

CF, awards file
24 June 1974

Calder is named Citoyen d’Honneur de la Commune by the Mayor of Saché.

CF, awards file
July 1974

Calder donates the monumental sculpture Totem-Saché, installed in the main square of the town of Saché.

Lipman 1976, 339
15 October–16 November 1974

Perls Galleries, New York, exhibits “Alexander Calder: Crags and Critters of 1974.”

CF, exhibition file
Alexander Calder: Crags and Critters of 1974 (1974)
Installation photograph, Alexander Calder: Crags and Critters of 1974, Perls Galleries, New York, 1974
Installation photograph, Alexander Calder: Crags and Critters of 1974, Perls Galleries, New York, 1974
25 October 1974

The festival “Alexander Calder Day” in Chicago includes a circus parade with the Schlitz forty-horse hitch and the dedications of the motorized Universe at the Sears Tower and the monumental stabile Flamingo at the Federal Center Plaza.

CF, project file
Flamingo (1973)
Flamingo (1973), Chicago, c. 1973
Flamingo (1973), Chicago, c. 1973
18 December 1974

Calder receives the Grand Prix National des Arts et des Lettres from the French Minister of Culture Michel Guy.

CF, awards file


7 January–15 February 1975

Hooks-Epstein Galleries, Houston, presents “Calder and Miró: Works on Paper 1957–1974.”

CF, exhibition file
22 January–23 February 1975

“Calder: Crags and Critters” is presented at Galerie Maeght, Paris. The catalogue text includes the essay “Un tournant chez Calder” by Mario Pedrosa; cover and illustrations by Calder. The exhibition travels to Galerie Maeght, Zurich.

CF, exhibition file
11–18 April 1975

The Calders visit Israel to discuss a monumental sculpture project with the Mayor of Jerusalem, Teddy Kollek. Jerusalem Stabile I is completed in 1976 and Louisa attends the dedication ceremony in 1977.

New York Times, 12 May; CF, project file
10 May–13 July 1975

Haus der Kunst, Munich, exhibits “Calder,” a retrospective. The catalogue includes the essay “Entstehung des Mobile” by Maurice Besset.

CF, exhibition file
15 May 1975

The Calders, Marcel Breuer, and others who worked on the UNESCO building in Paris protest UNESCO’s expulsion of Israel in a New York Times ad: We artists who are citizens of the world urge the General Conference to reverse itself and end all sanctions against Israel, and let

the building we created be saved as a vision of hope, not as a symbol of tragedy.

New York Times, 15 May
29 May–1 June 1975

Flying Colors is exhibited at the Thirty-first Paris Air Show at Le Bourget. On 29 and 30 May, Calder hand paints the two starboard engine cowlings with Le Poisson and L’Aigle, respectively.

Lipman 1976, 340; New York Post, 7 June
31 May 1975

The Thirty-first Paris Air Show, where Flying Colors is on view, opens to the public. The Calders and guests, including Braniff executives, embark on a three-hour tour of the French countryside aboard the plane.

Lipman 1976, 340; Philadelphia Inquirer, 30 May
14 and 15 June 1975

Calder attends the Le Mans 24-Hour race, where his BMW Art Car is driven by Poulain, Jean Guichet, and Sam Posey. Due to a mechanical failure relating to the driveshaft, the car does not complete the race.

CF, object file
22 August 1975

Calder celebrates his birthday with a large party at Le Carroi. Every reveller is given a small gouache.

CF, ASCR correspondence, 22 July 2018
September–October 1975

Galerie Maeght, Zurich, exhibits “Calder: Crags and Critters.”

CF, exhibition file
14 October–15 November 1975

Perls Galleries, New York, exhibits “Alexander Calder: Recent Mobiles and Circus Gouaches.”

CF, exhibition file
22 October 1975

Calder is commissioned by Braniff International Airways in honor of the Bicentennial to design Flying Colors of the United States for the flagship of the airline’s United States fleet. The maquette is unveiled in New York

by an Art Selection Committee that includes Tom Armstrong, director of the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, and Stephen Prokopoff, director of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago.

CF, Braniff press kit; Lipman 1976, 340
14 November 1975

Calder is awarded the United Nations Peace Medal, and Louisa Calder receives the Woman of the Year Award from the World Federation of the United Nations Associations.

CF, awards file
Before 17 November 1975

At the Braniff hangar in Dallas, Calder hand paints two of the engine cowlings on Flying Colors of the United States with Don’t Tread on Me and Flying Colors ’76.

CF, project file; Preview, 25 November
17 November 1975

Departing from Dallas Love Field with Calder and Louisa on board, Flying Colors of the United States arrives at Dulles International Airport, Washington, D.C., where the plane is dedicated by Betty Ford.

The Calders’ friends in attendance include Laura and James Johnson Sweeney, Joanna and William Drew, and Dorothy Miller; family members include daughter Sandra, with children Shawn and Andréa, and daughter Mary, with husband Howard and son Holton. The Calders take the Boeing 727-200 back to John F. Kennedy Airport, New York, where Calder is presented with the Bicentennial Medal of New York City.

Preview, 25 November


22 March 1976

Calder and Louisa attend a luncheon at the Élysée Palace, Paris, with Vice President Nelson Rockefeller and President of France Valéry Giscard d’Estaing.

CF, event file
19 April 1976

Miró invites Calder to the opening of the Fundació Joan Miró in Barcelona. Miró proposes to exchange a painting for Calder’s large outdoor stabile, Quatre ailes, which he would like for Calder to donate to the Fundació Joan Miró. Calder agrees.

CF, Miró to Calder, 19 April
Before 28 May 1976

The Kröller-Müller Museum, Otterlo, commissions Calder to design a monumental scupture for their garden.

CF, Oxenaar to Calder, 28 May
18 June 1976

Calder and Louisa attend the opening of Fundació Joan Miró, Barcelona.

29 June 1976

Calder and Louisa travel to Otterlo for the Kröller-Müller museum commission. The project for which Calder creates a maquette, is never executed.

CF, Oxenaar to Calder, 28 May; CF, Calder to Oxenaar, 23 June
Before 4 July 1976

Calder and Louisa return to Saché from Otterlo.

CF, Louisa to Oxenaar, 4 July
August 1976

Calder and Louisa visit the Colombe d’Or in Saint-Paul-de-Vence. Calder presents a gouache to Madame Yvonne Roux, who runs Colombe d’Or with her husband, Francis.

CF, object file
1–10 October 1976

The Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance organizes the “Alexander Calder Festival.” The event includes the dedication of White Cascade on 7 October at the Federal Reserve Bank, and the premiere of Under the Sun, a dance tribute to Calder performed by the Pennsylvania

Ballet. During the weeklong celebration, Calder receives an honorary degree from the University of Pennsylvania.

CF, awards file
12 October–13 November 1976

Perls Galleries, New York, exhibits “Alexander Calder: Works on Paper 1925–1976.”

CF, exhibition file
14 October 1976–6 February 1977

The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, with Jean Lipman as curator, exhibits “Calder’s Universe,” a major retrospective. The exhibition travels to fifteen cities throughout the United States and Japan.

CF, exhibition file
Calder’s Universe (1976)
Opening reception for Calder's Universe, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, 1976Photograph by Waintrob-Budd
Opening reception for Calder's Universe, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, 1976Photograph by Waintrob-Budd
20 October 1976

Calder is honored at a dinner at the Whitney Museum of American Art. Attending are sixty guests, including Georgia O’Keeffe, André Kertész, Arthur Miller, Louise Nevelson, Marcel Breuer, John Cage, Merce Cunningham, Virgil Thomson, Robert Penn Warren, and Philip


New York Times, 21 October
Calder and Georgia O’Keeffe at a dinner in Calder’s honor (1976)
Calder and Georgia O'Keeffe at a dinner in Calder's honor, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, 1976Photograph by Abner Symons © Women's Wear Daily
Calder and Georgia O'Keeffe at a dinner in Calder's honor, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, 1976Photograph by Abner Symons
Before November 1976

President Gerald Ford offers the Medal of Freedom to Calder. Calder replies, I was pleased to receive your invitation last week, but felt I could not accept in a case where my acceptance would imply my accord with the harsh treatment meted out to conscientious objectors and

deserters. As from the start I was against the war and now am working with “amnesty” I didn’t feel I could come to Washington. When there will be more justice for these men I will feel differingly [sic]. Ford posthumously awards Calder the Medal of Freedom. Louisa Calder declines to attend the ceremony: Freedom should lead to amnesty after all these years and it doesn’t seem as though it were going to happen. Freedom means freedom for all.

CF, Calder to Ford, c. 20 October; CF, telegram, Louisa to Ford, 4 January 1977
10 November 1976

Calder returns with Louisa to New York from Washington, D.C., where he has finalized the details for Mountains and Clouds, a monumental stabile and mobile for the Hart Senate Building, Washington, D.C.

CF, object file
11 November 1976

Calder dies in New York City at the home of his daughter Mary.

New York Times, 12 November
1 December 1976–8 January 1977

Galerie Maeght, Paris, exhibits “Calder: Mobiles and Stabiles.” The catalogue includes the essay “L’art et la comédie” by Jean Frémon and “Forme Humaine” by Jean Davidson, with cover and illustrations by Calder.

CF, exhibition file
6 December 1976

The Whitney Museum of American Art holds a memorial service. Officiating is director Tom Armstrong, with remarks by Sweeney, Saul Steinberg, cartoonist Robert Osborn, and Arthur Miller, and with a solo violin performance by Alexander Schneider.

CF, event file