This talk is part of the Fountain Fundamentals Conference, July 10-11, 2013, Kansas City, MO.

Alexander Calder’s “Hello Girls”; a Wind and Water Driven Non-Interactive Feature by John Hirx


Alexander Calder was commissioned to create “Hello Girls”, a wind and water activated sculpture, for the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) when the museum was established in 1965.

Scaled up from a tabletop model, the full-scale feature consists of three stainless steel pylons of various sizes, each with paddles and branches. The paddles and branches rotate on top of each pylon, propelled forward by directed water jets or the wind.

The feature has been installed in different locations at the museum; its history to the present can be grouped into four phases. Each phase in the life of the feature had its own challenges which were grappled with in order to improve the functionality of the feature in its next iteration.

Many aspects of the feature will always require ongoing maintenance and new challenges will be faced as the feature ages and the resources used to maintain the sculpture change.

Speaker Bio

John Hirx is Head Objects conservator at Los Angeles County Museum of Art where he hasworked since 1993. Prior to LACMA, John worked for the Brooklyn Museum of Art and the Metropolitan Museum. He is a grad of NYU’s Institute of Fine Arts and is currently a PhD student at Ohio State University.

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