Bent Propeller

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Bent Propeller
Bent Propeller by.jpg
Bent Propeller pictured in 1971
Artist Alexander Calder
Completion date 1970
Medium Sculpture
Dimensions 760 cm (25 ft)
Condition Destroyed in the September 11 attacks in 2001
Location New York City

Bent Propeller (also known as World Trade Center Stabile) was a red stainless steel sculpture by Alexander Calder, commissioned by the Port of New York Authority in 1969 and installed in 1970 at the World Trade Center in New York City.

The main elements of the sculpture were three sheets of curved metal, linked together to form a static work resting under its own weight (or stabile) reminiscent of a ship's propeller. Like many of Calder's public sculptures, it was painted red. The large work, 25 feet (7.6 m) high, was first installed near the entrance to WTC1 (the North Tower). It was moved in 1970 to a plaza in front of 7 World Trade Center, on the northeast corner of the World Trade Center Plaza by Vesey Street and Church Street.

The work was destroyed in 2001 in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks, crushed under thousands of tons of rubble when 7 World Trade Center collapsed. About 40 percent of the sculpture was recovered from the debris in the following months. With not enough of the original remaining for a restoration, the recovered elements were stored by the Calder Foundation. Today, a portion of the sculpture can be found at the National September 11 Memorial & Museum.

See also


  • Lost Art: Alexander Calder, Tate Gallery, 10 September 2012
  • Found Art: Parts of Calder Sculpture Retrieved from Trade Center, NPR, 22 October 2001
  • Alexander Calder, 1898-1976, Bent Propeller, 1970, Gallery of Lost Art
  • Alexander Calder, Gallery of Lost Art blog, 16 November 2012
  • Bent Propeller, Gallery of Lost Art blog, 2 May 2012
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