Talks and Lectures, Films, Special Events, For Kids & Families, Tours, Drop-in Art Activity

Calder and Abstraction: From Avant-Garde to Iconic

Opening Day Celebration

Included with museum admission

Saturday, September 6, 2014 from 11am - 4pm

Location: Peabody Essex Museum

Calder and Abstraction: From Avant-Garde to Iconic

Come celebrate the artist whose revolutionary approach to sculpture influenced the course of modern art and continues to inspire viewers today.


Panel Discussion

On Redefining Sculpture
11 am-noon | Morse Auditorium
Reservations by September 5

Join Lynda Roscoe Hartigan, PEM's James B. and Mary Lou Hawkes Chief Curator, as she hosts a panel discussion with Stephanie Barron, chief curator of modern and contemporary art at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and curator of the exhibition, and Jed Perl, art critic for The New Republic and author of a forthcoming biography about Alexander Calder. Their conversation touches on the defining aspects of Calder's work, as well as his impact on modern art.


Purchase Tickets Here for Panel Discussion



Art Making

The Simple, Expressive Line
Noon-4 pm | Atrium

In addition to being a renowned sculptor, Alexander Calder was an accomplished illustrator. A master of the simple expressive line, Calder's gift is clear in his first book Animal Sketching (1926). In it are animals in characteristic poses and movements that capture their emotions in a few quick lines. Try your hand at creating a character inspired by Aesop's Fables with illustrator Samara Pearlstein.


Gallery Tours

Calder and Abstraction
12:30 and 3 pm | meet at information desk
Tickets available day of program

Join our docent guides for an in-depth tour of Calder's mobiles and stabiles.



Works of Calder
1 pm | Morse Auditorium
Tickets available day of program

Filmmaker Herbert Matter traces the narrative of a child who stumbles upon Calder at work. This short film, with music by John Cage, illustrates how the artist drew on nature for inspiration. 1950, 20 minutes. A Q&A with Calder biographer Jed Perl follows the film.


Calder, Sculptor of Air
2 pm, | Morse Auditorium
For older teens and adults
Tickets available day of program

Alexander Calder's modernist creativity skyrocketed with his wire sculptures, an invention he dubbed "drawing in space." This film retraces Calder's unique artistic quest and explores his masterpieces. 2012, 51 minutes, directed by François Lévy-Kuentz.

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