Alexander Calder (American, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 1898–1976 New York)
L: 20 in. (50.8 cm)
Gift of Muriel Kallis Newman, 2008
Not on view
Known primarily for his sculptures, Calder first began to produce jewelry in 1929 while in Berlin. Hammering wires and small pieces of metal into flattened shapes, he created necklaces, earrings, bracelets, brooches, cufflinks, and belt-buckles, among other items. Calder drew inspiration for many of his jewelry pieces from African designs, Nootka and Navajo ornaments, Amazonian feathered adornments, Brazilian luck charms, and Inca quipus, or knotted threads. While the specific referent for this necklace is unknown, its forms resemble bones or feathers and recall non-Western prototypes.
[possibly Perls Galleries, New York, sold to Newman]; Muriel Kallis Newman, Chicago (by 1981–2008; her gift to MMA)
Barcelona. Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya (MNAC). "Joyas de artista. Del modernismo a la vanguardia," October 27, 2010–February 13, 2011, no. 299 (as "Collar").
William S. Lieberman, ed. An American Choice: The Muriel Kallis Steinberg Newman Collection. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1981, p. 157.