The present selection was owned by Herbert Lust’s late wife, Virginia Lust, who was a gallerist in Chicago and New York specializing in Alberto Giacometti, HansBellmer, French Surrealism and Robert Indiana. While in Chicago, she had a very close friend and collector by the name of Ruth Page known formally as a world-famous dancer and choreographer. In 1932, Page and the sculptor Isamu Noguchi began a long and passionate love affair, which inspired one of the artist’s most celebrated sculptures titled Miss Expanding Universe, now in the collection of the Art Institute Chicago. As a gift, Noguchi presented Page with two pieces of jewelry he had purchased from his friend Alexander Calder. Years later in 1970, Page would re-gift the necklace, Lot #, to her friend Virginia in honor of her 40th birthday. The other, a bracelet, Lot #, was purchased by Herbert from Page as a birthday present to his wife. Through this web of friendship, these great pieces of jewelry found their way into the cherished Lust collection, where they have stayed ever since. One can imagine the conversations that were shared between artists and friends over the years especially as Lust enjoyed lunch with Calder and his wife at their Roxbury home before purchasing the mobile brooch, Lot #, as another thoughtful gift for his wife. A veritable master of all genres, media and scale, Alexander Calder has proven himself to be one of the most iconic and idiosyncratic artists of the 20th Century which is perfectly captured by this group of five wearable sculptures meant to be enjoyed both in and out of the jewelry box.
“Calder’s jewelry may be seen as a sort of Surrealistic strategy to entrap the wearer into participating in an art performance, even to become bewitched. To wear the jewelry is to induce dreams and to become metamorphosed. It is typical of Calder and his art to be more allusive than first meets the eye.”
Mark Rosenthal in Alexander S. C. Rower, Ed., Calder Jewelry, New York 2007, p. 67
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