Alexander Calder’s sculptures seem to incorporate the space around them into the sculpture. Why is that?

All above images courtesy Smithsonian American Art Museum
  • Calder used so many different media and created a variety of types of art. Which are your favorite? Why?

  • Does his media choice match the finished piece of art?

  • How does his engineering background play into his art?

  • Since he was a child he made items as gifts. Do any of his sculptures look like toys?

  • Calder knew and was friends with many Dada artists when he lived in France, including Duchamp. How is his art similar to and different from Dada?

  • Would you wear Calder’s jewelry?

  • Are his mobiles successfully scaled? Do they look just as good on a large-scale as they do on the small scale?

  • Is the balance that is physically essential to his mobiles present in his paintings, wire sculpture and jewelry?

  • Some of Calder’s sculptures hang from the ceiling, others project out of walls or from the ground. Which do you prefer? Why?