Calder Foundation


Date c. 1934
Nickel-plated wood, wire, and rod
42 1⁄2" × 11 7⁄8" × 20"
Smith College Museum of Art, Northampton, Massachusetts; Purchased with funds from the Director's Purchase Fund, 1935 (no. 1935.11)
Works / Standing Mobile 268
Related Timeline
1930–1936 Shift to Abstraction

Following a visit in October of 1930 to Piet Mondrian’s studio, where he was impressed by the environmental installation, Calder made his first wholly abstract compositions and invented the kinetic sculpture now known as the mobile. Coined for these works by Marcel Duchamp in 1931, the word “mobile” refers to both “motion” and “motive” in French. He also created stationary abstract works that Jean Arp dubbed “stabiles.”