Editor's Choice: Calder's Creations

Heather James Fine Art
Apr 12, 2016 8:57PM

Welcome to Editor’s Choice, a monthly segment in which Heather James employees share a personally curated online exhibition of a few of their favorite works in the gallery. For April, marketing associate Hayden Hunt has curated an exhibition of his favorite works by Alexander Calder.

Untitled (Pull Toy), ca. 1958
Heather James Fine Art

As an artist, Alexander Calder was as generous as he was prolific. When he was a child, he created sketches and small toys for his older sister to play with and enjoy. For over half a century, he created artwork and more practical objects that he gave to his friends, family, and neighbors. Though Calder was a highly prolific artist, some of his most intriguing works were never commercialized and, as such, we are very proud to feature them in this exhibition for the first time.

The Calder exhibition at Heather James Fine Art provides a unique view into Calder’s generous nature as many of the works in this show were given as gifts and never commercialized. Many of the works in the show have not been seen in public for decades and they provide interesting insights into one of America’s most creative artists. Although this exhibition features a wide variety of Calder's work, I chose a small selection of works from the exhibition that provide a wonderful insight into Calder's generosity and friendship.


Among the many treasures in this exhibition is a standing mobile, dated to circa 1948, which belonged to the family of one of Calder’s neighbors who became close family friends. A portrait of the playwright Arthur Miller (pictured below), drawn on the side of his Connecticut barn, was carefully removed and framed to ensure its longevity. A very early gouache from 1945, given as an anniversary gift to the parents of the present owner, depicts the couple in Calder’s colorful and often spindly style. A silver bracelet (pictured top of page), made in the early 1960s, was given to a family friend whose husband helped Calder construct his studio in Roxbury. Another one of Calder’s objects, a brass wire drawer pull, was made to serve a mundane task yet does so with the beauty and simplicity of two interlocking wires.


Had Calder not been such a fun and well-loved individual, this exhibition would not have been possible. I enjoyed hearing stories from our exhibition lenders about growing up around Calder and spending time in his studio, and we are so grateful that Calder’s generosity extended to many of those that knew him. 

Learn more here:http://www.heatherjames.com/exhibitions/calder/thumbnails

Heather James Fine Art