Calder: In Motion, The Shirley Family Collection is now on view at SAM! As part of this SAM-exclusive exhibition, we’ve developed a free smartphone tour featuring additional insight on Calder’s life, legacy, and artistic career.
Composed of 15 stops, the tour includes interviews with collector Jon Shirley, SAM Susan Brotman Deputy Director for Art José Carlos Diaz, sculptor Kennedy Yanko, and Calder Foundation President Alexander S. C. Rower, as they share their educational and personal thoughts on artworks including Fish (1942), Toile d’araignée (1965), Bougainvillier (1947), Red Curly Tail (1970), and many more of the artist’s most iconic works.
Tune in to the tour’s introductory stop now to get acquainted with the artists, scholars, curators, and admirers who contributed to this auditory experience. Then, explore all 15 stops in the audio tour of Calder: In Motion by scanning the QR code next to select artworks in the exhibition or on your own time via our SoundCloud.
Introducing Calder: In Motion, The Shirley Family Collection
JON SHIRLEY: My name is Jon Shirley, and I am pleased to share with you Calder: In Motion, The Shirley Family Collection. The works of Alexander Calder that you will see in these galleries have been collected over the past 35 years first with my late wife Mary and now with my wife Kim. Over those years we have found that living with Calder’s work has been a beautiful and uplifting experience.
Alexander Calder was a great artist whose father and grandfather were both sculptors. In Paris in the late 1920s Calder invented a new world of sculpture—first by using just wire and then by creating abstract works of sheet metal, wood, and wire that moved. As you will see, this collection spans Calder’s art career from the 1920s until his death in 1976. The audio guide will discuss many different works that I love so please take the time to listen and learn about Calder the man and his art.
My family and I sincerely hope that you will find this visit a dynamic experience and that you return to the Seattle Art Museum for many years as we present ongoing exhibitions related to Calder and the artists inspired by Calder.
NARRATOR: The exhibition attempts to capture something of how the works were displayed in the Shirleys’ home – setting up a unique dialogue across the decades. Joining us for this encounter will be exhibition curator José Diaz…
JOSÉ CARLOS DIAZ: My name is José Diaz.
NARRATOR: …painter and sculptor Kennedy Yanko…
KENNEDY YANKO: Hi! My name is Kennedy Yanko.
NARRATOR: …and Calder Foundation President—and grandson of the artist—Alexander S. C. Rower.
ALEXANDER S. C. ROWER: Hi, I’m Alexander Rower. Everyone calls me Sandy.
NARRATOR: I hope you’ll enjoy your tour.
– Lily Hansen, SAM Marketing Content Creator