City Grieves Loss Of Calder Sculpture

(CBS) — A mobile by Alexander Calder that was in the lobby of the Sears — then Willis — Tower for 43 years was taken down this year because of a dispute over ownership.

After city officials touted their first public art plan for Chicago, the commissioner of the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, Mark Kelly, was asked about the city’s loss of that celebrated bit of public art.

'The Universe' At Willis Tower

‘The Universe,’ a sculpture in the lobby of the Willis Tower, was taken down this year. (Credit: CBS)

“I wish that great piece was back. It’s in storage now, I believe. What a tragedy,” he said.

“But we need more of it. We need the next Calder. We need the next Dubuffet. We need the next Picasso.”

As far as whether the city could’ve done more to keep the mobile in place, Kelly said it’s privately owned and, basically, city interference would not have been a good idea.

One goal of Chicago’s public art plan is to put more art in every ward of the city of Chicago.

And Kelly says that’s a cornerstone of the city’s Year of Public Art program.

“It’s not one. It’s 50 different installations that are going into every neighborhood in the city,” he says.

Kelly says everybody should look at the public art plan. 

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