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Alexander Calder 'Cactus Provisoire' (1967) - welded steel

Location: Fellows' Square, Trinity College Dublin

Alexander Calder's 'Cactus Provisoire' sculpture at the artist's home in the South of France where it was selected for Trinity College Dublin

Bite-sized info:

Paul Koralek CBE RIBA RA - architect of the Berkeley Library with ABK architects, the Arts Building, the Douglas Hyde Gallery and the Dental Hospital - recounts how the arrival of the Alexander Calder sculpture at Trinity College came about in 1978, through George Dawson's initiatives.

"Around the time that the Arts Building was nearing completion, the question arose of finding a suitable sculpture for the newly formed Fellows' Square, a key location in the college. It was clear that this would need to be something both of outstanding quality and substantial size in order to correspond to the scale of the square. George, always generous, asked me what my preference would be. After some thought and discussion, I proposed a Calder. George, undaunted, agreed and through the generosity of one of the ex-students obtained funding. Calder sadly had recently died but his wife who was still living at their farmhouse in the Loire valley agreed to make a work available to TCD at an affordable price. George arranged for me to visit her. One of my most memorable and enjoyable professional tasks was my visit to the Calder’s beautiful and quite magical old house, filled with his sculptures, toys and sketches and her rugs and weavings and from there to be taken out into a nearby field, filled with enormous Calder sculptures, standing in the sunshine in rows like surreal agricultural machinery. I was simply asked to choose the one I would prefer. The result stands in Fellows’ Square. For this alone, the College should be eternally grateful to the donor and to George Dawson."

Alexander Calder’s Biography