1. Calder invented the mobile as an art form in 1931.
2. Marcel Duchamp coined the word, “mobile,” to describe Calder’s work.
3. Jean Arp coined the word, “stabile,” to describe Calder’s work that suggests movement but doesn’t move.
4. 40 years ago, Calder installed “The Grand Vitesse” in downtown Grand Rapids. The sculpture was commissioned by the city. It’s name is a play on the French for “Grand Rapids.”
5. Calder died in 1976. He was born in Pennsylvania.
6. My daughter Elizabeth is using a kind of watercolor to make paintings. It’s called gouache. Calder used it extensively. I saw a bunch of his paintings in this medium yesterday.
7. One of his paintings shows people climbing on and fishing from “The Grand Vitess.”
8. There are guards in the museum section of the Frederick Meijers Garden that will stop you from climbing on the smaller Calder model of the Grand Vitesse.
9. They also will stop you from photographing it.
10. Art museums are a lot like classical music concerts. They make me uncomfortable at the same time they draw me into the art and music. But don’t touch. Or make noise.
11. There are wonderful outdoor sculptures in the children’s garden at the Frederick Meijer’s Garden that seemed designed for children to climb all over. These also have signs that say don’t touch. (I guess that means prohibits climbing on as well.) The picture above is not from the Meijer’s garden.
12. Steve and Eileen like Sophie Ryder’s work.
13. A lot.