Alexander Calder
Tower with Painting, 1951

Artwork Info

Artwork title
Tower with Painting
Artist name
Alexander Calder
Date created
metal, oil, paint and wood on canvas and wood
40 in. × 60 in. × 16 5/8 in. (101.6 cm × 152.4 cm × 42.23 cm)
The Doris and Donald Fisher Collection at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
© Calder Foundation, New York / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Permanent URL
Artwork status
On view on floor 3 as part of Alexander Calder: Dissonant Harmony through June 25, 2023.

Audio Stories

How is this work like a mini Calder retrospective?

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Alexander Calder titled this sculpture Tower with Painting. He suspended several different objects he’d made inside.



Many of them are pieces from earlier periods. So having a mobile and having a painting, it’s like a little Calder art history lesson all in itself.



Sandy Rower is the artist’s grandson — so he knows that history. Personally.



Being in Calder’s studio when he was at work was really like a chapel. It was silent. He didn’t play music. He didn’t play the radio. He didn’t even have a radio in the studio. He was very adept as using his tools. He could have a junky pair of pliers or an unsharpened chisel and still use it with great dexterity. Us grandkids had the great luck and pleasure to be able to be there and be able to work on our own projects. He would help us with tools and give us direction. But if we just annoyed him or disturbed him, he’d kick us right out. It was a place to be seriously at work. And if you weren’t seriously at work, you shouldn’t be there.

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