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Kinetic Art Mobiles

Featuring Alexander Calder's The Cone, 1960

Alexander Calder (American, 1898-1976). The Cone, 1960. Painted metal, 100 x 110 x 65 inches (254 x 279.4 x 165.1 cm). Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York; Gift of Seymour H. Knox, Jr., 1961 (K1961:24). © Calder Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

Lesson Plan Details

Conceptual Basis

With a degree in mechanical engineering and a passion for the arts, Alexander Calder experimented with Kinetic art through the creation of two different types of sculpture: the mobile and the stabile. Composed of delicately balanced components that respond to air currents, Calder’s mobiles are graceful and poised. In contrast, stabiles are non-moving sculptures. The Cone, 1960, combines elements of mobile and stabile sculptures. This lesson is inspired by the mobile art of Alexander Calder and the theory of kinetic energy, with a focus on the principles of balance and movement.