THE OHIO CONSERVATION CENTER: Here are rare early Calder images. Thanks to photographer Robert B. Hicks for responding to our request to search through his photographs and find these 1973 images never-before-seen of Calder sculptures in the process of being made and for granting us the rights to publish them.
We scanned his 35mm transparencies in high resolution TIFF files for preservation and share the images here with our visitors.
See these rare early photographs he took of Alexander Calder Stabiles in stages of production in front of Segre’s Iron Works (Stephen Segre, real name Stephen Segretario) in Waterbury, CT in 1973 (Images 1-11) and of Calder’s FLAMINGO on Federal Plaza in Chicago in the summer of 1975 (Images 12 and 13).
The installed FLAMINGO is shown in this 1975 photograph by Bob Hicks (erected in 1974) still in its first coat of paint on which the artist remarked it was “too glossy” and on which Nancy Mulnix, who shepherded LA GRANDE VITESSE into existence in Grand Rapids, said was “too dark.” See the report on “Calder Red” elsewhere on this website.
Flamingo was subsequently repainted to match exactly the Calder Red the artist’s foundry in France sent with LA GRANDE VITESSE and which the artist saw and apparently approved. And that color was matched exactly by Keller & Long company for painting red Calder sculptures in the U.S. and elsewhere for decades.
The story goes that Bob Hicks was driving through Connecticut in 1973 and saw strange things ahead (see the first photograph (01) of FLAMINGO towering above the trees) when passing through Waterbury. He stopped at Segre’s Iron Works and inquired about these constructions. He learned they were sculptures being fabricated for Alexander Calder. Bob received permission to take photographs before moving on.