Alexander Calder’s jewelry is having a bit of a moment.
Best known for being a sculptor, Calder (1898-1974) started making jewelry with scraps of copper wire for his sister’s dolls in his first home studio as a boy. He is thought to have created over 2,000 pieces in his career, many as gifts for family and friends including Peggy Guggenheim and Georgia O’Keeffe, and was often inspired by ancient and exotic iconography, adding his own organic twist. Primary materials were brass and steel, and silver later in his career, sometimes with the incorporation of glass, wood or ceramic.
An unprecedented gathering of his jewelry is being shown in New York at Salon 94, which is holding an exhibition and sale of 40 pieces called ‘Show and Tell: Calder Jewelry and Mobiles’. Gallery owner Jeanne Greenberg Rohatyn has brought together the show in conjuction with the Calder Foundation and invited a number of contemporary artists to create new pieces of artwork that used the jewelry. Some created busts to wear the jewelry, while others incorporated them into photographs. A few of his signature mobile scultpures are on display as well and I encourage you to check out the exhibit website for examples of the work if you can’t make it to New York. The exhibition opened November 6 and continues to December 20.
In addition, the Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Sale on November 14 will include 18 pieces of Alexander Calder jewelry from the Makler Family Collection (Lot 101-118). Hope Makler was the Philadelphia art dealer of Calder and wore these pieces for many years, which are pictured throught the post, with the exception of the last image.