Alexander Calder, Pyramid, Snake, Doll, Floating Circle, Swirl, Circus, No.9, Sun, Balloons, Star, Turquoise, Zebra, and Moon, 1972-74
Alexander Calder, 1972-74. Dyed and braided maguey fiber. Sun measures 10' x 12' while the other vary from 4’x 6’ to 5' x 7'. Gift of Dr. Niels Laursen.
Performing Art Center - left entrance to the Concert Hall
The thirteen handwoven tapestries were created by the sculptor Alexander Calder (1998-1976) as part of a charitable relief program to help victims of a devastating earthquake that hit Nicaragua in 1972. Calder was an activist and a humanitarian and was enthusiastic about supporting the cause. He provided gouache drawings that artisans in Nicaragua and Guatemala then reproduced, using a centuries-old weaving technique. Hundreds of local weavers and villagers participated in the project, gathering natural vegetable fibers, mostly Maguey and Jute, braiding and dying them and spinning them into strong, coarse threads that was then used for the tapestries. The geometric shapes and the simple colors—red, blue, black and yellow—are reflective of Calder’s well-known sculptures and share with his mobiles a sense of space and movement. The tapestries were conserved in 2012 in a workshop where students worked under the direction of a conservator.