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Maquette for Excalibur

1975 Beverly Pepper Born: New York, New York 1924 welded steel on plexiglas base 16 3/8 x 32 3/4 x 21 1/2 in. (41.5 x 83.1 x 54.5 cm) Smithsonian American Art Museum Transfer from the General Services Administration, Art-in-Architecture Program 1979.159.17 Smithsonian American Art Museum
Luce Foundation Center, 4th Floor, 51A

Luce Center Quote

“What I sought in designing Excalibur was to interrelate the work with the lives of people while remaining within the context of the given architecture.” Beverly Pepper, quoted in Donald Thalacker, The Place of Art in the World of Architecture, 1980

Luce Center Label

For her sculpture at the San Diego federal buildings, Beverly Pepper produced a model of the building façades to study how her design would interact with people and with the architectural environment. Hoping to draw people into the plaza, Pepper designed Excalibur to be seen not only from ground level, but also from overhead windows and by passing cars. Although Excalibur was an instant sensation in San Diego after its installation in 1976, some viewers felt that the price was excessive and that the sculpture looked “ready to be launched into space.” The completed sculpture measures 40 by 32 by 60 feet.



Study - sculpture model

sculpture - maquette


plastic - plexiglas


About Beverly Pepper

Born: New York, New York 1924

More works in the collection by
Beverly Pepper