Calder Foundation

Animal Zoo Puzzle

Date c. 1911
Wood and nails
1 1⁄2" × 6" × 4"
University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive; Gift of Margaret Calder Hayes, Class of 1917, 1986
Related exhibitions  1
Musée National d’Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris (2009)

Musée National d’Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris. Alexander Calder: les années parisiennes 1926–1933. 18 March–20 July 2009. Originated from the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.

Solo Exhibition
Chronology  1
Before 11 January 1910

For his father’s birthday, Calder makes Animal Zoo Puzzle, a game consisting of five painted animals—a tiger, a lion, and three bears—and a wooden board with nails divided into six pens. The challenge is to move the animals from their pens without having two animals in the same pen at once.

Works / Toy 13
Related Timeline
1898–1925 Early Development

Alexander Calder created works of art throughout his childhood. In his twenties, he moved to New York and studied at the Art Students League. He worked concurrently at the National Police Gazette, illustrating sporting events and the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, and he made hundreds of brush drawings of animals at the Bronx and Central Park zoos. During this period, he commonly used sheet metal and wire for other projects.