Three Discs, One Lacking (1968)

by Alexander "Sandy" Calder (1898 - 1976)

Photo Caption: Photo Caitlin Martin © 2010 for the Association for Public Art
  • Title

    Three Discs, One Lacking

  • Artist

    Alexander "Sandy" Calder (1898 - 1976)

  • Year

    installed 1968; relocated 1979, 1982, 1998, 2009

  • Location

    Benjamin Franklin Parkway between 16th and 17th Streets

  • Medium

    Painted iron alloy

  • Dimensions

    Height 8'6", width 7'

  • Themes

    The Calder Family (of Artists)

Purchased by the City of Philadelphia, Planning Commission

Owned by the City of Philadelphia

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Alexander “Sandy” Calder descended from a family of famous Philadelphia sculptors. His father’s Swann Memorial Fountain on Logan Square and grandfather’s City Hall sculptures (see William Penn) represent artwork from three generations. Trained as a mechanical engineer and artist, Calder invented “mobiles” and “stabiles,” such as this stationary work, Three Discs, One Lacking, as well as paintings, toys, tapestries, and jewelry.

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. Originally placed at the Penn Center Plaza along JFK Boulevard in 1968, the sculpture is now installed on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway at 17th Street, near Henry Moore’s Three Way Piece Number 1:  Points and Barbara Hepworth’s Rock Form (Porthcurno).

Voices heard in the Museum Without Walls: AUDIO program: Donald Lipski is an internationally recognized artist who lives and works in Philadelphia. Elizabeth Hutton Turner is an art historian who serves as an Advisor to the Calder Foundation. | Segment Producer: Jonathan Mitchell

Museum Without Walls: AUDIO is the Association for Public Art’s award-winning audio program for Philadelphia’s outdoor sculpture. Available for free by phone, mobile app, or online, the program features more than 150 voices from all walks of life – artists, educators, civic leaders, historians, and those with personal connections to the artworks.



This artwork is part of the Along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway tour

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