Calder worked closely with steel fabricators at Etablissements Biémont in Tours, located near his studio in Saché, France, to create the seventy-one steel plates that comprise Gwenfritz. Upon completion, the artist shipped the thirty-five ton sculpture in pieces to Washington, D.C. where the Smithsonian oversaw the assembly and painting of the steel plates in accordance with Calder’s recommendations.
In the years leading up to the sculpture’s completion, the museum’s director David Scott corresponded frequently with Calder to discuss progress on the commission and prepare for the placement of Gwenfritz in a purpose-built reflecting pool on the west side of what is now the National Museum of American History. Their correspondence also documents Calder’s work on Nenuphar, a smaller stabile made specifically for the 1968 opening of the American Art Museum at its current location.
- ca. 1968
413 3/8 in. (1050.0 cm.) h.
- Credit Line
Smithsonian American Art Museum
Gift of the Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation
- Mediums Description
- Abstract – geometric
- Object Number
- Linked Open Data
- Linked Open Data URI