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Returning the Stones

January 16, 1986

The massive sculptures created by Alexander Stirling Calder to depict poise, initiative and democracy graced the main entrance of Throop Hall at Caltech for 61 years, before the 1971 earthquake struck the building a fatal blow and the figures went into hiding in a storage yard for 15 years. But now they are back on campus and being installed on three supporting arches in the facade of the newly created Arnold and Mabel Beckman Laboratory of Chemical Synthesis. The arches join two existing laboratories that are being refurbished through a $6.5-million gift from a foundation endowed by the Beckmans. Calder, a Pasadena resident recognized as an important sculptor of his day, said the figures were "an attempt to give plastic utterance to the aims and scope of the school."

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