Until September of last year, the Reference Department was lucky enough to serve as a temporary home to several amazing wall hangings by world-famous artist Alexander Calder. Yes, that’s right – THE Alexander Calder, who is perhaps most famous for his playful mobiles (see below).
It was with a heavy but thankful heart that we said goodbye to the Calder hangings and returned them to their rightful home in the Art Department. Time, as well as exposure to light and human touch, had not been kind to the woven hemp hangings; they were dirty and their once-bright colors were so faded that you wouldn’t have recognized them as a part of Calder’s typical palette.
Thankfully, an anonymous grant brought a textiles conservator to campus to work with students to restore the hangings to their original grandeur. You owe it to yourself to see them while you still can. These are limited edition hangings designed nearly 40 years ago by Calder as a marriage of his distinct style and his wife Louisa’s interest in Central American native handicrafts. Made in collaboration with master weavers from Nicaragua and Guatemala, they are simply stunning to behold. Visit them in the Lower Traylor Gallery of the Art Building. The exhibit runs through February 17th.
Conserving a Legacy: Wall Hangings by Alexander Calder
Exhibit hours are:
Monday, Wednesday, Friday
8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
Tuesday & Thursday
8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
1:00 p.m.–5:00 p.m
Traylor Gallery Image: courtesy of Meghan C. Doherty, Ph.D, Director, Doris Ulmann Galleries