Born in Philidephia in 1898, Calder moved to Paris in June 1936. He took classes at the Academie de la Grande Chaumiere where he made his first wire sculptures. Calder created a miniature circus in his studio; the animals, clowns and tumblers were made of wire and animated by hand. Many leading artists of the period attended, and helped with, the performances.
Internationally famous by his mid-30s, Alexander Calder, is renowned for developing a new idiom in modern art - the mobile.
As well as suspended moving sculptures he also crafted standing mobiles (anchored moving sculptures) and stabiles (stationary constructions). Calder's abstract works are characteristically direct, spare, buoyant, colorful and finely crafted. He made ingenious, frequently witty, use of natural and manmade materials, including wire, sheetmetal, wood and bronze.
Calder was prolific and worked throughout his career in many art forms. He produced drawings, oil paintings, watercolors, etchings, gouache and serigraphy. He also designed jewelry, tapestry, theatre settings and architectural interiors. Calder died in 1976.