Seattle Art Museum exterior

Seattle Art Museum exterior

SEATTLE — When the famed physicist Albert Einstein visited the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the story goes, an abstract mobile by the celebrated American sculptor Alexander Calder (1898-1976) stopped him in his tracks. He reportedly stared at the moving wire sculpture for 40 minutes, transfixed.

Alexander Calder wire sculptures

These two wire sculptures by Alexander Calder are part of a treasure trove of art works donated to the Seattle Art Museum by Jon and Kim Shirley.  The gift of 48 works is accompanied by a $10 million bequest and an annual commitment to fund Calder exhibitions and research.

More than a decade later, Jon Shirley experienced a similar thrill when he encountered Calder’s work at the museum as a young man.

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