Alexander Calder’s (1898-1976) acceptance of the prize for sculpture at the XXVI Venice Biennale in 1952 forged a bond of friendship with a country he had admired for some time. He was especially close to art connoisseur Giovanni Carandente, who sadly passed away last June 7th while working furiously on the catalogue for this exhibit. Carandente is largely to thank for introducing Italy to the radical idea that art could break forth from closed frames into three-dimensional space and engage the surrounding environment by contrast and analogy. Carandente’s keen interest in urban sculpture boded well for Calder, whose “Teodelapio” (1962) outside the Spoleto train station ignited a passion for public art in Italy that endures even today. His friendship with Carandente expanded the possibilities for his prodigious output, leading him to design several opera sets for theatres across Italy. Although Calder declined the Medal of Freedom offered him by President Gerald Ford on political grounds, he went on to accept several degrees honoris causa from prestigious Italian universities.