The Robert and Nettie Benenson Foundation gave the mobile with the intention that it be displayed in Duke Children's Hospital & Health Center, but it is temporarily being housed in the Duke Medicine Pavilion Concourse.
“We are thrilled that Duke has received such a significant Calder mobile, which will surely lift the spirits of patients and visitors to Duke Hospital,” said Sarah Schroth, Mary D.B.T. and James H. Semans Director of the Nasher Museum of Art, in the press release. “We know and love Calder as the famous inventor of the mobile. Duke is fortunate to share this beautiful sculpture with the public.”
The mobile, finished in 1968, is constructed of wire and painted sheet metal.
It was previously owned by Edward Benenson—the father of Lisa Benenson Quattrochi, vice president and secretary of the Robert and Nettie Benenson Foundation—and was given to the Foundation upon his death in 2005. In the years since, the Foundation has searched for the proper place to display it, the press release said.
“Then one night I literally woke up and said, ‘Aha!’” said Quattrocchi, who is on the Duke Children’s National Board of Advisors, in the press release. “I thought, ‘Let’s donate it to Duke Children’s Hospital.’ And the more I thought about it, the more sense it made. It’s a colorful, happy, joyful piece, and I like to think that seeing it will brighten the day for a lot of children and families.”