Interview with aPA’s Laura Griffith on Calder art and legacy in Philadelphia

The Association for Public Art’s Assistant Director, Laura Griffith, was interviewed by Susan Perloff for Newsworks about the generations of Alexander Calder art in Philadelphia and the influence of the Calder legacy: “‘I can’t think of any other city that has three generations of artists like that,’ says Griffith. ‘The work of all three is connected but also different. It reflects what was going on at the time they were creating. And all three were among the best sculptors of their time.’”

>>Read the full article: “Generations of Alexander Calder art a trinity of blessings for Philadelphia”

Below are several Calder artworks in Philadelphia that are featured in the Association for Public Art’s Museum Without Walls™: AUDIO outdoor sculpture audio program. They include Alexander Milne Calder’s William Penn (1886-1892) and Major General George Gordon Meade (1887); Alexander Stirling Calder’s Sundial (1903), Swann Memorial Fountain (1924) and Shakespeare Memorial (1926); and Alexander Calder’s Three Discs, One Lacking (1968).

1. William Penn (1886-1892), Alexander Milne Calder

2. Major General George Gordon Meade (1887), Alexander Milne Calder

3. Sundial (1903), Alexander Stirling Calder

4. Swann Memorial Fountain (1924), Alexander Stirling Calder

5. Shakespeare Memorial (1926), Alexander Stirling Calder

6. Three Discs, One Lacking (1968), Alexander Calder

Related Artworks


William Penn

(1890, cast 1892)

by Alexander Milne Calder (1846 - 1923)

City Hall Tower, Broad and Market Streets

Over thirty-six feet tall and weighing more than 53,000 pounds, Alexander Milne Calder’s William Penn atop City Hall is one of Philadelphia’s most prominent landmarks.


Major General George Gordon Meade


by Alexander Milne Calder (1846 - 1923)

Lansdowne Drive north of Memorial Hall, West Fairmount Park

A memorial in Fairmount Park to General Meade, best known for defeating General Robert E. Lee at the Battle of Gettysburg.




by Alexander Stirling Calder (1870 - 1945)

Horticulture Center grounds (Belmont Avenue and North Horticultural Drive, West Fairmount Park)

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.


Swann Memorial Fountain


by Alexander Stirling Calder (1870 - 1945)

Logan Square, Benjamin Franklin Parkway at 19th Street

Three bronze Native Americans that represent Philadelphia’s three main waterways: the Delaware and Schuylkill Rivers, and Wissahickon Creek.


Shakespeare Memorial


by Alexander Stirling Calder (1870 - 1945)

Logan Square, Benjamin Franklin Parkway between 19th and 20th Streets

Alexander Stirling Calder’s monument to William Shakespeare, which depicts two figures representing Comedy and Tragedy.


Three Discs, One Lacking


by Alexander "Sandy" Calder (1898 - 1976)

Benjamin Franklin Parkway between 16th and 17th Streets

Edmund Bacon, Director of Philadelphia’s City Planning Commission, purchased this iron alloy painted sculpture for the City in 1968 with funds from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Pennsylvania Railroad Company.

Loading map...