Pittsburgh Art Places


Related Links


mobile, Kinetic, Carnegie Institute, Calder

Artwork Type

Permanent, Sculpture, Other 3D Work



Alexander Calder


Owner Allegheny County Airport Authority

The mobile, with its slender black rods propelled by white paddles, was designed by Calder for Carnegie Institute's 1958 Bicentennial International Exhibition of Contemporary Art, which he intended to be observed in free rotation. It was awarded first prize in sculpture at the exhibition. Later, G. David Thompson, a renowned art collector, purchased the mobile and donated it to Allegheny County in memory of his son, David. In 1959, Allegheny County moved the striking mobile to the main rotunda of the Greater Pittsburgh International Airport. In 1992, Pittsburgh was installed in the airside terminal at the Pittsburgh International Airport, and since been loaned to museums in Rome and Spain.

Alexander Calder (1898-1976) was an American sculptor who is credited with exploring the mobile as an art form, and for laying the foundation for the Kinetic art movement. His awards included the main prize for sculpture at the Venice Biennale, and the First Prize for Sculpture at the Pittsburgh International. His work has been exhibited in several retrospectives including the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Guggenheim Museum, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Fondation Maeght.