Calder Foundation

Registration & Examination

Registration of works

The purpose of Registration is to document works attributed to Alexander Calder in the archives of the Calder Foundation. The resulting archives have become an invaluable resource for scholars and curators.

Owners of works attributed to Alexander Calder are encouraged to apply to register their works in the archive by completing an Application for Registration. In addition to the Application, owners should provide copies of letters, invoices, and other documents and information pertinent to the work. An accurate photograph of the work must be included to ensure precise identification. All materials submitted become the property of the Foundation.

The Foundation registers works at its sole discretion. The submission of an Application for Registration does not guarantee registration of the work and, further, does not in any way create a contract between the owner and the Foundation for the purpose of authentication or other related matters.

Owners requesting information about their work from the Foundation may apply for an examination (see Examination of Works below).

You may download a PDF of the Application for Registration here.

Examination of works

The purpose of Examination is to obtain information about a work attributed to Alexander Calder from the Calder Foundation.

Owners of works attributed to Alexander Calder requesting information may apply to the Foundation for a physical examination of their work. Examinations are scheduled a few times a year at the Calder Foundation in New York City. The Foundation does not charge a fee for the examination.

For the Foundation to consider the examination of a work, the owner must submit an Application for Registration, a professional color digital image (see Guidelines for the Photograph below), as well as a written request for an examination.

If the Foundation agrees to examine the work, the owner will be provided with an Examination Agreement, a schedule of upcoming examinations, and details pertaining to the examination day. All required materials, including the executed Examination Agreement, must be accepted by the Foundation at least one week prior to the date of a scheduled examination to be considered for that date.

After a work is presented for examination, it is the responsibility of the owner to contact the Foundation to request the verbal results of the examination. The Foundation does not provide certificates of authenticity and does not assist with appraisals or valuations.

To request an examination, please contact us directly.

Guidelines for the photograph

We require a professional color digital photograph submitted in TIFF format. The digital photograph must be shot in high resolution (at least 300dpi at 25”) and present all aspects of the work in crisp detail. The work should be set against a seamless, contrasting background so that all the details are clearly visible. Soft or bounced lighting should be used so that shadows are minimized. Three-dimensional works should have all their elements turned fully to face the camera so that their true shapes can easily be discerned and all near and far elements should be sharply focused. Works with horizontal elements are best photographed from slightly below so that the horizontals do not appear as mere slivers. Wires should not cross nor elements overlap. Two-dimensional works should be removed from frames and mounting so that the signature and all edges of the paper are clearly visible.