Impasse apparently scuttles Philadelphia’s Calder project

Times Staff Writer

A planned Philadelphia-based museum dedicated to the playful sculptures and mobiles of native son Alexander Calder will not open.

The 35,000-square-foot Tadao Ando-designed museum was to open along Ben Franklin Parkway, across from the Rodin Museum and near both the Philadelphia Museum of Art and a proposed site for the Barnes Foundation’s Impressionists-heavy art collection.

But the difficulty of reaching unanimous agreement with the New York-based Calder Foundation, and the artist’s six heirs -- who collectively control the artwork -- killed the project, the Philadelphia Daily News reported.

“For now, the Calder Museum project is off,” Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell told the paper, a year after pledging $15 million toward the museum’s construction. The facility, which was slated for a 2008 opening, would have cost an estimated $70 million.


“A whole group of us had worked for the last five years on this,” arts patron H.F. “Gerry” Lenfest, who was to serve as chairman of the museum’s board, told The Times.

“This chapter’s over, but it may not be closed forever.”

Messages left with museum project director Diane Dalto and the New York-based Calder Foundation were not returned Wednesday.