Paul Matisse

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Paul Matisse (born 1933) is an artist and inventor. He is known especially for his public art installations, many of which are interactive. He is also inventor of the Kalliroscope.

In 1954, Matisse graduated from Harvard,[1] where he once lived in Eliot House. After college he briefly studied at Harvard's Graduate School of Design before working in product development for Arthur D. Little. In 1962 he set off on his own, inventing and ultimately manufacturing Kalliroscopes.

Calder Mobile

From 1977 to 1979 he helped enlarge a sculpture by Alexander Calder (who died in 1976) for the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. Thereafter, he began his own public art career.

He currently resides in a former Baptist church in Groton, Massachusetts. He is the stepson of artist Marcel Duchamp and grandson of French painter Henri Matisse. Henri Matisse's son, Pierre Matisse, was Paul's father.[1] His daughter Sophie Matisse is a painter in New York. His son, Alex Matisse, is a pottery artist and founder of East Fork Pottery in North Carolina.

Selected public artworks[edit]

Kendall Band
National Japanese American Memorial Bell

Kendall Band (1987), an interactive musical sculpture in the MBTA's Kendall/MIT subway station in Cambridge, Massachusetts

Charlestown Bells.jpg

Memorial Bell for the National Japanese-American Memorial to Patriotism in Washington, DC (2001

Charlestown Bells, an interactive musical sculpture on the Charles River Dam between downtown Boston, Massachusetts and the Boston neighborhood of Charlestown

Musical Fence

Musical Fence (1980), an interactive musical sculpture once located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and now housed at the DeCordova Museum in Lincoln, Massachusetts and at the Montshire Museum of Science in Vermont

The Forest Bells

Forest Bells (1997), six vertical aluminum bells hang from the limbs of oak tress on Groton Conservation Trust property in Groton, Massachusetts


  1. ^ a b Christopher Reed, "Pure Fabrications", Harvard Magazine, May-June 2002.