Calder's Circus

Eli Whitney Museum

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The Art of Play

Calder's Circus


2019 Summer Program

Almost 100 years ago, Alexander Calder constructed a model circus that he could transport in suitcases to entertain his artist friends in Paris. Calder improvised his performers from common materials. They looked and moved like toys. When Calder presented them, they became art.

Follow Calder's inspiration. Construct a small suitcase. Build in rings and rigging – make a system that makes them move.

Then construct and costume a ringmaster and riders, acrobats and aerialists, tigers and trainers, and, of course, clowns. Rehearse your troupe. Let your imagination run away with the circus.

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