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A rendering of one part of the to-be-constructed Calder Gardens. Photo: Jensen Toussaint/AL DÍA News.
A rendering of one part of the to-be-constructed Calder Gardens. Photo: Jensen Toussaint/AL DÍA News.

Calder Gardens construction moves forward

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Philadelphia is expected to be getting a new museum within the next year to year-and-a-half.

Calder Gardens is expected to open in late 2024 or early 2025, and will be located between 21st and 22nd Streets at the Ben Franklin Parkway.

The new project was first announced during a groundbreaking ceremony in November 2022

It will be a museum that showcases the work of Alexander Calder, one of the most prominent, innovative, and influential artists of the 20th century. 

A long-time resident of Philadelphia, he was a third-generation artist. His grandfather, Alexander Milne Calder, sculpted the William Penn statue that sits atop City Hall. His father, Alexander Stirling Calder, on the other hand, was the creator of the Swann Memorial Fountain at Logan Circle and other public installations across Philadelphia. 

Philadelphia is rich with museums and historical art.

During the groundbreaking ceremony last year, Calder Gardens president and board chair Marsha Perelman said, “We are fortunate that the artistic vision of innovation embodied by three generations of the Calder family did not end with Alexander Calder.”

She added that the Calder Gardens eventually coming to fruition is “the culmination of literally decades worth of work.” 

Calder’s legacy continues to live on through his grandson, Alexander Rower, founder and president of the Calder Foundation.

With construction underway for Calder Gardens, Rower highlights it as being a new opportunity. 

“This is a way for us to get close to Calder. It’s a way to have a place where you and your body can be with Calder’s art in a really more deep, meaningful way,” he said during the groundbreaking ceremony.

Calder Museum has been officially described as a “sanctuary-like retreat” dedicated to Calder’s art and ideas, and will feature galleries illuminated by natural light, as well as a rotating selection of masterworks from the Calder Foundation. This includes mobiles, stabiles, monumental sculptures, and paintings. 

Photo: Jensen Toussaint/AL DÍA News.
Photo: Jensen Toussaint/AL DÍA News.

When Calder Museum officially opens — likely sometime in the 12 to 18 months — it will add yet another gem to Philadelphia’s collection of art destinations. 

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