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Alexander Calder was born on July 22 1898 in Lawnton Pennsylvania He had an artistic upbringing as his father and grandfather were sculptures as well Both of his parents went to Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine arts Despite Calders artistic upbringing he didnt go immediately to art He first studied mechanical engineering at Sevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken where he got a bachelors degree in 1919 However his engineering life wasnt going very well so in 1923 he enrolled at the Art Students League in New York City It was there where he found his greatest inspiration John Sloan Calder constructed paintings based on Sloans In 1924 he became a freelance artist for the National Police Gazette Then in 1926 he published his first illustrated book Animal Sketching In 1930 he went to Paris where he attended Acadmie de la Grande Chaumire There he discovered the art of Mondrian and Mir He started experimenting with abstract form In 1931 he exhibited his first brightly colored constellations called mobiles consisting of painted cutout shapes connected by wires and set in motion by wind currents One of these mobiles was called Universes Because of all his works with wire he started making wire sculptors He also married Louisa James in this year who was the grandniece of author Henry James Together they Louisa and Alexander had two children With his new family he moved to Roxbury Connecticut After that he spent more time in America then in Europe He started designing costumes and sets for ballets In 1937 he constructed Whale which was his first stabile He also constructed a mercury fountain for the Spanish Pavilion of the Paris Exposition He called this piece an aquatic ballet He continued making water stabiles throughout the rest of his life Many of his later works are huge heavy and delicately balanced mobiles produced for public buildings throughout the world Calder is also noted for his book illustrations and
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