(UN)WEAR­ABLE ART

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His wife, Louisa James, was the first lucky one to re­ceive a piece of his work: a to­ken of love that came in the form of a ham­mered brass bracelet. Although more well-known for his ab­stract mo­bile sculp­tures, Amer­i­can artist Alexan­der Calder made more than 1,800 ear­rings, bracelets, neck­laces and brooches dur­ing his life­time. Cop­per, brass, sil­ver, glass, wood, leather or ce­ram­ics: his avant-garde, un­con­ven­tional jewelry was de­scribed as ‘un­wear­able art’. Although the artis­tic value of his cre­ations was be­yond ques­tion, Calder considered jewelry-mak­ing as a hobby and only made pieces for his fam­ily and friends. Luck­ily, his friends were prom­i­nent peo­ple in the art world like Peggy Guggen­heim, Ge­or­gia O'Ke­effe, Madame Miró, Madame Duchamp and Madame Cha­gall, who cer­tainly rec­og­nized and ap­pre­ci­ated high-cal­iber art­work when they saw it.

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