Alexander Calder

Sculptor Alexander Calder

Profession: Sculptor

United States of America

Biography: Alexander Calder was an American sculptor, best known for his kinetic sculptures which were moved by motors or wind currents. He also created a number of monumental public sculptures, including the Homage to Jerusalem on Mount Herzl in Israel.

Prior to his work as an artist, Calder worked as an engineer and draughtsman and later as a mechanic. After a spell working at a logging camp, the mountain scenery inspired him to first take up painting and then move to New York to study art.

After a period studying at the Arts Student League in New York City, where he developed an abiding fascination with circus action after being tasked to sketch this for an assignment, he moved to Paris. There he would fall in with a number of avant-garde artists, including Marcel Duchamp.

While in Paris Calder also met his future wife, Louisa James, the grand-niece of philosopher William James, author Henry James, and diarist Alice James. The pair married in 1931 and then returned to America in 1931 where they purchased a farmhouse in Connecticut and raised a family.

Born: July 22, 1898
Birthplace: Lawnton, Pennsylvania, USA

Generation: Lost Generation
Star Sign: Cancer

Died: November 11, 1976 (aged 78)
Cause of Death: Heart attack

Historical Events

  • 1984-05-09 Alexander Calder's "Big Crinkly" sells for $852,000

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