Lecture: Alex J. Taylor on Public Objects: Revisiting Alexander Calder’s The Hawk for Peace
In fall of 2022, Alexander Calder’s iconic statue The Hawk for Peace will return to public view adjacent to the redwood grove on the southeast site of the Berkeley Crescent Lawn. Since BAMPFA moved to its current downtown Berkeley location, the 11,684-pound sculpture has undergone special conservation to prepare it for its new home. After forty-seven years of greeting BAMPFA’s visitors at the former building on Bancroft Way, the sculpture will now welcome visitors to UC Berkeley’s greater campus.
To mark the reinstallation of The Hawk for Peace (1968), art historian Alex Taylor offers a lecture that considers the social orientation and political valences of Calder’s late stabiles. He explores how the early history of the sculpture exemplifies Calder’s entanglement in the fraught politics of public space in the late 1960s. Through The Hawk for Peace, Taylor examines how the multilayered meanings of Calder’s Modernism were negotiated through the encounter between his sculpture, its public, and the culture at large.
Taylor is associate professor in the Department of History of Art and Architecture at the University of Pittsburgh. He is the author of Forms of Persuasion: Art and Corporate Image in the 1960s (UC Press, 2022).