Winner 1998

American Masters: Alexander Calder

Thirteen/WNET, New York, New York, Florentine Films/Sherman Pictures

This year’s Peabody Awards are anchored by two outstanding tributes to monumental artists who were contemporaries. While one, Frank Lloyd Wright, was a powerful and imperious presence whose work strove to rival nature itself, the impish and capricious Alexander Calder sought to liberate art from its conventions. His work, like his irreverent spirit, soared upward to the heavens. American Masters: Alexander Calder is director Roger Sherman’s delightful and engaging tribute that captures the joyful exuberance the artist displayed throughout his life and throughout his work. The playful inventiveness that marked “Sandy” Calder and his creations is recalled with easy elegance and a touch of whimsy by American Masters. It is clear that the four years spent in the production of this piece were well worth it, and were, as public television is wont to say, “time well spent.” With this fine program, Susan Lacy, executive producer of American Masters, continues to commission and oversee the production of important films made about important Americans. This is the third Peabody Award presented to the American Masters series, and we are confident it will not be the last. In recognition of on-going excellence, a Peabody to American Masters: Alexander Calder.