Regular readers of Midwest Guest may remember our visit to Grand Rapids, Michigan earlier this year. We wrote about that city’s 40th anniversary celebration of Alexander Calder’s iconic sculpture, La Grande Vitesse, and its status as a Grand Rapids landmark.
I knew there were a handful of Calder’s major public art pieces in Michigan, but I recently realized that Ohio has a Calder of its own when we visited Toledo.
I spotted the bright orange stabile in front of the Toledo Museum of Art and immediately wondered about the piece.
We stopped to wander the Sculpture Garden in front of the museum and discovered that the sculpture was a scale-model of Calder’s 1972-73 Stegosaurus.
The larger version of Calder’s Stegosaurus stands in front of the Wadsworth Atheneum, a major art museum in Hartford, Connecticut.
Calder lived in Connecticut for many years, purchasing an old farmhouse in Roxbury in 1933. He began creating the large outdoor sculptures during the 1930s, and became well-known for such work by the time he created Stegosaurus near the end of his life.
The Toledo Museum of Art purchased the intermediate scale model of Calder’s Stegosaurus as the centerpiece for the 21-piece Sculpture Garden surrounding the museum. Museum officials dedicated the outdoor art display in 2001 to celebrate the Museum’s centennial.
Toledo’s Stegosaurus, like the larger La Grande Vitesse in Grand Rapids, anchors its setting with a pop of vibrant color.
The compact size of the Toledo piece makes it seems especially accessible and engaging to me, and we enjoyed taking photos of the work.
Read more about our visit to see Calder’s La Grande Vitesse in Grand Rapids, Michigan and find out more about this fascinating and innovative artist at the Calder Foundation site dedicated to his life and work.
Thanks to Debbie Dubrow of Delicious Baby for creating and coordinating Photo Friday to link travel photos and blog posts across the Web.
© Dominique King 2009 All rights reserved