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Alexander Stirling Calder

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Alexander Stirling Calder

American, (1870–1945)

A. Stirling Calder was born into Philadelphia’s most famous family of sculptors. He was the son of the Scottish-born Alexander Milne Calder and the father of Alexander Calder, the inventor of mobile sculptures. A. Stirling Calder, the oldest of six boys, began his artistic training at age sixteen at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, where he studied with Thomas Eakins. In 1890 he went to Paris; after two years, he returned to Philadelphia and began teaching modeling at the academy. Next, he moved his family to Arizona, California (Pasadena and San Francisco), Philadelphia (again), and three places in New York. At the age of twenty-four he won his first major commission and was quickly established in the realms of monumental commissioned sculpture and public fountains, such as the Depew Fountain (1915) in Indianapolis, the Swann Memorial Fountain (1924) in Philadelphia, a statue of Leif Ericson (1932) in Reykjavik, Iceland, and George Washington (1918) flanked by allegorical figures of Wisdom and Justice on the Washington Square arch in New York City.

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