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Alexander Calder
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    (July 22, 1898-November 11, 1976)
    Born in Lawnton, Pennsylvania
    Sculptor and painter
    Known for creating the mobile
    Sculptures include 'Aztec Josephine Baker' (1929), 'Mercury Fountain' (1937), 'Sphere Pierced by Cylinders' (1939), 'Man' (1967), 'Eagle' (1971), 'Stegosaurus' (1973) and 'Flamingo' (1974)
    Mobiles include 'Feathers' (1931), 'Lobster Trap and Fish Tail' (1939), 'S-Shaped Vine' (1946) and 'La Spirale' (1958)
    Wrote 'Animal Sketches' (1925) and 'Autobiography with Pictures' (1966)
    Posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom (1977)
    His first artistic job was doing sketches for the National Police Gazette.
    He moved to Paris in the 1920s because 'In Paris it's a compliment to be called crazy.'
    He rejected the Presidential Medal of Freedom while alive, saying acceptance would imply agreement with the 'harsh treatment meted out to conscientious objectors and deserters.'
    His estate made the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art remove mobiles by other artists from the gift shop during a Calder exhibition.
    He designed not just sculptures and mobiles, but also toys, jewelry, stage sets for Martha Graham, carpets and even most of the kitchen utensils in his home.
    He created the Cirque Calder, a miniature circus made from wire and found objects, and staged shows that impressed fellow artists such as Piet Mondrian, Joan Miro and Marcel Duchamp.
    Robert Manley of Christie's auction house noted, 'His work is instantly likable and also recognizable.'

Credit: C. Fishel

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