Sundial (1903)

by Alexander Stirling Calder (1870 - 1945)

Photo Caption: Photo Caitlin Martin for the Association for Public Art
Horticulture Center grounds (Belmont Avenue and North Horticultural Drive, West Fairmount Park)
1903

  • Title

    Sundial

  • Artist

    Alexander Stirling Calder (1870 - 1945)

  • Year

    1903; installed 1905

  • Medium

    Limestone and bronze, on marble base

  • Dimensions

    Height 4’1″, width 6'6", depth 6'4", diameter 4'2" (base height 6")

  • Themes

    The Calder Family (of Artists), Women and Public Art

Gift of Mrs. Charles P. Turner, through the Fairmount Park Art Association (now the Association for Public Art) to the City of Philadelphia

Owned by the City of Philadelphia


Museum Without Walls Audio

0:00/ 0:00

Download Museum Without Walls audio file

At A Glance

  • Part of the Museum Without Walls™: AUDIO program

  • An Art Nouveau-style bronze sundial atop a sculpted limestone base representing the four seasons

  • Spring holds a rose; Summer carries poppies; Autumn wears grapes in her hair; and Winter has a pine branch

  • Alexander Stirling Calder is also responsible for Swann Memorial Fountain and the Shakespeare Memorial on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway

This Art Nouveau-style sundial sits atop a sculpted limestone base representing the four seasons. Spring holds a rose; Summer carries poppies; Autumn wears grapes in her hair; and Winter has a pine branch. Each season foresees the next by turning her head while holding an apple bough aloft, suggesting nature’s bounty. The signs of the zodiac surround the bronze dial.

Sundial was given to the park by the Fairmount Park Art Association (now the Association for Public Art). Alexander Stirling Calder, the second of three generations of the famed family of sculptors, is also responsible for the Swann Memorial Fountain and the Shakespeare Memorial, both in Logan Square.

Alexander Stirling Calder's Sundial in West Fairmount Park
Photo Caitlin Martin © 2013 for the Association for Public Art

 

RESOURCES:

Museum Without Walls logo: a program of the Association for Public Art

 

Voices heard in the program:

Jed Perl is the art critic for The New Republic and a former contributing editor at Vogue. He is working on the first full-length biography of Alexander Stirling Calder’s father, Alexander Milne Calder.

Susan Kay Weiler is a landscape architect and partner at OLIN. She is a prolific designer, educator, speaker and writer and serves on the Board of the Association for Public Art.

Segment Producer: Rachel James

A program of the Association for Public Art (formerly the Fairmount Park Art Association), Museum Without Walls™: AUDIO is an innovative and accessible outdoor sculpture audio program for Philadelphia’s preeminent collection of public art.

User calls Museum Without Walls Audio for Robert Indiana's LOVE sculpture
Photo Albert Yee © 2010 for the Association for Public Art

A “multi-platform” interactive audio experience – available for free by cell phone, mobile app, audio download, or on the web – Museum Without Walls™: AUDIO offers the unique histories that are not typically expressed on outdoor permanent signage.

Unlike audio tours that have a single authoritative guide or narrator, each speaker featured in Museum Without Walls™: AUDIO is an “authentic voice” – someone who is connected to the sculpture by knowledge, experience, or affiliation. Over 150 unique voices are featured, including artists, educators, scientists, writers, curators, civic leaders, and historians.

LEARN MORE >>

This artwork is part of the Around the Horticulture Center tour

Loading map...

More artworks

Need More Information?

General Inquiries

info@associationforpublicart.org or call 215.546.7550