Calder Foundation

Flying Colors

Date 1973
Specially formulated aerospace paint on DC 8-62 airplane
157' long
Historical Photos  2
Chronology  2
30 October–2 November 1973

Calder’s commission from Braniff International Airlines, the DC-8 jet Flying Colors, makes its inaugural flight from Dallas with stops in Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington, D.C., Miami, and Latin America. Calder had painted parts of the jet directly on the plane.


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.

Works / Unusual Project 25
Related Timeline
1963–1976 Monumental Works

In 1963, Calder completed construction of a large studio overlooking the Indre Valley. With the assistance of a full-scale, industrial ironworks, he began to fabricate his monumental works in France and devoted much of his later working years to public commissions. Calder died in New York in 1976 at the age of seventy-eight.