Thursday, June 05, 2008

The Cirque Calder - Automata and Puppet Circus

I posted recently about film footage of Alexander Calder's Automaton / Puppet Circus that he called Cirque Calder. Here is the second half of the short film.

This section features some mechanical dogs with uncanny movements, a gun-shooting lion tamer, a chariot race, and a trapeze act. I wonder how much he had to practice to get all of these tricks to work!

This book covers the Cirque Calder in detail: Alexander Calder: The Paris Years, 1926-1933 (Whitney Museum of American Art)

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Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Alexander Calder's Automaton and Puppet Circus

Alexander Calder created a miniature circus using handmade characters that are part automaton and part puppet. He would then manipulate the figures to perform certain acts of the show. The figures include jugglers, clowns and animals -- all made from odd bits of wood, cork, wire, yarn, paper, string and cloth. Here is the first of two clips of showing Calder performing the Cirque Calder from a 1961 film.

Due out September of 2008, this book covers the Cirque Calder in detail: Alexander Calder: The Paris Years, 1926-1933 (Whitney Museum of American Art)

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Sunday, August 13, 2006

Alexander Calder's Automata / Puppet Circus

Alexander CalderAlexander Calder created a miniature circus using handmade characters that are part automaton and part puppet.

At the suggestion of toy merchant, Alexander Calder began to make toys with articulation in the 1920s. Calder created his Cirque Calder, a miniature circus fashioned from wire, string, rubber, cloth, and other found objects. The entire circus could be placed and shipped in suitcases. It eventually grew to fill five suitcases. Calder would travel with his circus and hold performances on both sides of the Atlantic. He would manipulate the figures to perform certain acts of the show. The figures include jugglers, clowns and animals, recreating a real circus.

This book covers the Cirque Calder in detail: Alexander Calder: The Paris Years, 1926-1933 (Whitney Museum of American Art)

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