Maquette for Mountains and Clouds
(Sheet Metal and Wire, 1976)
This small scale model, or maquette, played a significant role in the building of Mountains and Clouds. After studying a model of the Hart atrium, Alexander Calder drew a simple sketch and created this maquette. The artist planned the sculpture specifically for placement in this space.
"The right work for the right place at the right time."
-- Senator Nicholas Brady
On November 10, 1976, Calder visited Washington DC to finalize the placement of Mountains and Clouds, using this maquette. After making minor adjustments to two of the clouds, he expressed satisfaction with the maquette as positioned in a model of the atrium. That evening, after returning to New York City, Calder died of a heart attack.
Foundry workers relied on the maquette to guide the building of Mountains and Clouds, since the artist did not make any scale drawings or blueprints. This maquette was reproduced full-size in as faithful a form as possible to two workshops that had fabricated some of Calder's monumental works during his lifetime.