© Alexander Calder / Artist Rights Society (ARS), New York, NY.

Alexander Calder: Jewelry

Sculptor Alexander Calder made his first piece of jewelry as a child, adorning his sister’s dolls with necklaces. He returned to the form while living in Paris in the 1920s and ’30s, turning his eyes toward the human body as a surface for sculpture. With his wife Louisa as his muse, Calder created a suite of jewelry out of metal wire and small shards of porcelain, glass, and other found materials. Taking curvilinear forms, his necklaces, earrings, and brooches (which Calder treated as wearable sculptures) were heavy, ornamental, and known to be uncomfortable. Over the course of his career, Calder created more than 1,800 unique pieces of jewelry, and though many pieces were worn by the rich and famous—Peggy Guggenheim, Mary Rockefeller, and …

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