Monday, October 13, 2008


Alexander "Sandy" Calder (1898-1976) did not only made Mobiles. He also designed carpets and made lithographs, toys, tapestry, jewelry, and paintings, like this Red Nose on gouache on paper measuring 29 x 43 in. (74 x 109.2 cm.) made in 1969.

Born in
Lawnton, Pennsylvania, on July 22, 1898, Calder came from a family of artists. His father, Alexander Stirling Calder, was a well-known sculptor who created many public installations, a majority of them located in Philadelphia. Calder’s grandfather, sculptor Alexander Milne Calder, was born in Scotland and immigrated to Philadelphia in 1868.

He had a very exciting life full of adventures and in the summer of 1916, Calder spent five weeks training at the Plattsburg Civilian Military Training Camp. In 1917, he joined the Student’s Army Training Corps, Naval Section, at the Stevens Institute of Technology and was made guide of the battalion. Calder received a degree from Stevens in 1919. For the next several years, he worked a variety of engineering jobs, including working as a hydraulics engineer and a draughtsman for the New York Edison Company, but he was not content in any of the roles. He decided to become an artist and moved to New York and enrolled at the Art Students' League.

While a student, he worked for the
National Police Gazette where, in 1925, one of his assignments was sketching the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus. Calder became fascinated with the circus, a theme that would reappear in his later work. In 1926, Calder moved to Paris where he established a studio at 22 rue Daguerre in the Montparnasse Quarter.

This Red Nose was sold in 1999 in auction for $ 10,350 against an estimate of 6,000/8,000 dollars. It belonged to Mr. and Mrs. Michael C. Levee, Jr.

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