Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Alexander Calder

 Alexander Calder (1898-1976) is remembered today for his sculpture but he did a lot of textiles.

Many of these are jute or hemp.

Others seem to be woven.

Many of them are dated in the 1970s---right before he died.

And some of this flatwork may be paintings or prints.

Seeing this one on the wall in the December House Beautiful made me go back and look at the Calder textiles. You get an idea of the scale here too. They are the essence of modernism----basic shapes, primary colors.


  1. The colours of my childhood, and my quilts - bar the black.

    Thanks for showing these, I had never seen them before.

  2. Oh.. This makes me want to run to the sewing room! Thank you, Barbara!

  3. I wasn't aware of Calder's textiles. Thanks!!

  4. Wow! I had no idea Calder did textiles, so they were extra-fun to see. They're both a trip down memory lane, and a lot like contemporary "modern" quilts. And great inspiration, too.

    Thanks, Barbara!

  5. What a wonderful post!!! I love Calder's sculptures and paintings but didn't know he worked with textiles. Thank you sharing these fabulous photos!

  6. I love the mix of fabric and other textiles, beautiful work and the jute would make a nice heavy design for a bed spread.


  7. Alexander Calder's sculptures made a big impression on me as a young art student. I was lucky to see an exhibit of his work at a Portland museum. The textiles and prints are wonderful - thanks for sharing!
    Lalexander733 (at) gmail (dot) com

  8. The interior is exquisite. There's a lithograph by Calder actually named "Quilt" (1966). It has a playful, freehand grid, along with his genius for positioning of forms.

  9. I am from Grand Rapids, Michigan, where Calder's sculpture "La Grand Vitesse" has become the iconic symbol of that community. My maternal grandmother worked to make that happen, back in the day. Much drama was involved of course, as it always is wherever community, money, female citizenry, and art were involved....

    Calder's work was about shape, but much more, about balance...I love seeing his dabbling in that minor distraction, textiles....!!!!! Thanks for the post, BB...

  10. Love seeing contemporary
    applications applied to quilt history.