Alexander Calder was born on July 22, 1898 in Lawnton, Pensylvaia. He took drawing courses with Clinton Balmer in New York in 1922, and studied at the Art Students League from 1923-25. In 1924, Calder started working for the magazine "National Police Gazette".
In 1926, he moved to Paris where he studies at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière. This is where he made first small figure of wire, wood and cloth. In spring of 1927 he set up a complete miniature circus with these figures, and performed shows that are visited by many Parisian artists. He exhibited his miniature wire figures in the New Yorker Weyhe Gallery in 1928. His first one-man show took place at the Paris Galerie Billiet-Pierre Vorms in 1929.
In 1930 Alexander Calder joined the artists group "Abstraction-Création". He increasingly dealt with abstractions. A visit to the Paris observatory was a major inspiration for his first mobile and abstract wire sculptures, for which Marcel Duchamp came up with the term "Mobile".
Alexander Calder presented the "Mobiles" in the Galerie Vignon in Paris in 1932 for the first time. In these "Mobiles" Calder found his very own and most appropriate form of art. The perfectly balanced constructions, moved by a touch of air, were made of metal elements, wires, threads and sticks, they become more complex and abstract over the years, however, their impression is always one of great poetry and playful airiness.
In 1933 Alexander Calder bought a farm house in Roxbury (Connecticut) and returned to the USA with his wife Louisa James. In 1934 he created the first open air mobile that he called "Steel Fish" which is 3,5 meters tall.
Alexander Calder dies in New York in 1976. His grave is in Roxbury.