Calder’s Gwenfritz Sculpture On The Move

WASHINGTON, July 8, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Opportunity to photograph the take-down of Alexander Calder’s Gwenfritz sculpture at the corner of 14th St. and Constitution Ave.


July 8 between 11 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.


National Museum of American History
14th St. and Constitution Avenue, NW


The Gwenfritz is moving offsite for conservation treatment.

Alexander Calder’s Gwenfritz sculpture will be taken apart for conservation treatment beginning July 8. Calder crafted the Gwenfritz using large pieces of sheet metal, more than 1,300 bolts and his signature flat black finishing paint. Weighing approximately 35-tons and standing about 40 feet tall, the Gwenfritz is one of the largest sculptures Calder ever produced.

To prepare the stabile for dismantling, the original bolts have been removed and temporary bolts are currently securing the structure. Beginning about 9 a.m. on July 8, a conservation team will remove those temporary steel bolts and then the soaring vertical components will be taken down.

The American Stripping Company and Abigail Mack Art Conservation teams are collaborating on the conservation and restoration process with the museum. After conservation treatment, the stabile will be returned to its original 1969 location facing the Washington Monument with a newly constructed reflecting pool surrounding it.

The Gwenfritz is one of Calder’s more notable sculptures. It was one of the first modernist public art sculptures in Washington, D.C., and one of Calder’s first major commissions for the city. The conservation treatment for the Gwenfritz is made possible through a generous donation from The Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation.