"The Great Sail"


Alexander Calder made his name by creating "mobiles," delicately balanced arrays of interconnected hanging metal, in which Calder put engineering principles to work. Calder also "engineered" standing sculpture, and the Great Sail on the campus of MIT, a world-renowned engineering school, is one of them. The Great Sail was built in France, disassembled and shipped in 7 crates, and reassembled in 1966 over a time capsule under Calder's direct supervision. It is 40 feet tall, weighs 33 tons, and is held together with 3000 pounds of nuts and bolts. Other sculptures by Calder and other artists can be viewed on the MIT campus.

Activity Details

Activity Type:Trips and Destinations
Discipline:Other
Topic(s):Structures
Grade:K-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12
Time:Full day

Fun Fact:Famed 20th century artist Alexander Calder graduated from the Stevens Institute of Technology as a mechanical engineer.
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