Last chance — Calder Jewelry at the Metropolitan

This delicious little exhibition closes Sunday, March 1. The rings, pins, necklaces, and uncategorizable breastplate-collars are full of the economy and wit and the organic forms-in-motion of Alexander Calder’s Circus and his stabiles and mobiles. He uses brass and steel and precious metals, but also broken plates and fragments of a red car reflector, whatever his transformative imagination can work on. He makes jokes and puns, working initials into bunny-profiles. And since they were almost all made for friends and relatives, many for his beloved wife Louisa, often very quickly (his grandson, Sandy Rower, says that if the Calders were going out for dinner, he might go off to his workshop in the morning and, by evening, return with a new ring or brooch for Louisa to wear), they have a striking directness and intimacy. Also, of course, because they are objects made for the body: with something like Jealous Husband you imagine how it would be with its curves enwrapping and its spikes defending you.

Jealous Husband, c. 1940, from the Newman Collection

Jealous Husband, c. 1940, from the Newman Collection


Plus they’re really cool, swoopy and modern and tribal and beautifully crafted. If you have a chance, go see them. The show is just three rooms, tucked back in the Modern galleries, and it will delight and refresh you.

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One thought on “Last chance — Calder Jewelry at the Metropolitan

  1. Martha says:

    Wow…I will give it my best shot. Am zooming into Manhattan, but I need a little impish inspiration.

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