Calder’s Necklaces

Anjelica Houston wearing Calder’s necklace, photographed by Evelyn Hofer for The New York Times in 1976.

Browsing The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s digital archives can bring so much joy. I knew that Alexander Calder induldged himself in making one-of-a-kind jewellery when not creating his hanging installations, but I never actually saw his necklaces. Calder produced more than eighteen hundred pieces of jewelry, most of them between 1933 and 1952. Many of these pieces were made specifically for family members or friends and given away on special occasions. Each necklace, bracelet, ring, pin, or earring was a unique, handcrafted design to which he applied his skills as a metalworker and his visual wit, just as he did when he created mobiles and bent-wire sculptures. The necklaces below were made by hammering brass wires into flat strips and then fashioning them into a linear design that relates directly to his early wire portraits. Incredible, wearable works of art.

All photos via The Met’s digital archives.

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