Some Said Mary Mace Had Bats in Her Belfry, Until She Proved Who Made the Toys in the Basement
updated 01/26/1987 AT 01:00 AM EST
•originally published 01/26/1987 AT 01:00 AM EST
Indeed they could, in a box in the basement. Others had looked at the toys and doubted their origin. Not Mace. "As soon as I saw the duck—he's got that glint in his eye—I knew he could have been made by no one other than Calder. It was done with a sense of humor." The next day (at her age, she notes, "anything that's important to me I do now") she visited the local registry of deeds and discovered that the family who had donated the toys had owned a house that previously belonged to the Calder family. Joan Marter, a Rutgers University art history professor and Calder expert, says that the toys probably were prototypes of a series the young artist once designed for a Wisconsin manufacturer.
Mace hopes money will be found to repair the toys so that they can be put on display. She's also getting a kick out of the publicity. Says Mace, a volunteer: "It pleases me to think that on that day I really earned my salary."