Space | A. Calder (Maquette)

Alexander Calder, Maquette

Intermediate Model for the Big Sail

Painted Steel


96 in. x 84 in. x 60 in. (243.84 cm x 213.36 cm x 152.4 cm)

Gift of Catherine and Julius A. Stratton

This public art tour is an investigation of the space within and around the select pieces of public art on MIT’s campus. Walk around, through, and under pieces to find different relationships and perspectives.

This tour was created by Joe Faraguna, Class of 2020 in Bioengineering. Faraguna was a List Center Student Guide for all four years of his undergraduate career. 

Alexander Calder, although best known for his bright, dynamic hanging mobiles, also experimented with static figures. Known as ‘stabiles', these rooted sculptures oftentimes preserved the light and lifted qualities associated with his mobiles even despite their colossal sizes. Calder would often develop scale models such as the one displayed here before supervising the construction of his larger stabile sculptures. Does the model appear anchored to the ground or more dynamic? What components of the sculpture can you identify that make this work appear mobile? Can you imagine how large the full piece would be?

Building Number: E15

Accession Number: 1978.001