ALEXANDER CALDER- AN INSIGHT INTO HIS LIFE “I paint with shapes”- Alexander Calder His mother painted portraits and…


“I paint with shapes”- Alexander Calder

His mother painted portraits and his father engaged himself in creating large sculptures of bronze.

Alexander Calder could have become anything but he was born to be an artist.

Sandy spent his early years in the studio of his father in Philadelphia. Stirling Calder in 1902 used Sandy as a model for his sculpture named ‘Man Cub’. In the same year, four year talented Sandy made his first sculpture- an elephant made of clay.

His father contracted tuberculosis when he was only 7. Her mother left for Arizona, leaving the children in care of her friends. In 1906, little Sandy received his first instruments which he utilized to set up a work shop where he used copper wires to make jewelry for her sister’s dolls

Calder family has lived in California for four years. In 1910 they returned to Philadelphia and then adopted a migratory lifestyle. As Stirling Calder continued commissions and other work opportunities, the family moved from New York to California at least once a year. They returned to New York in 1915. Sandy was enrolled at the Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, New Jersey, leaving it four years later with a degree in mechanical engineering.

Since the next three years, Sandy Calder has worked on engineering and industrial design jobs in the Midwest and mid-Atlantic. It was not until 1922, at the age of 24, he began studying art formally, with an evening class in drawing. In two or three months in between he worked as a fireman in the boiler room of a steamer, sailing from New York to San Francisco via the Panama Canal. As soon as he reached San Francisco, he left for Washington, where his brother in law lived with his sister. He took a job in Washington. By spring 1923, the inspirational mountain views from Washington (and maybe genetics) have prompted Calder to leave his job and put all his attention to painting. He began taking classes at Art Students league after he returned to Newyork. He supported himself by making illustrations for the National Police Gazette and designing toys.

So, this was a brief on his early life which laid the foundations for all he has achieved till his death.


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