Alexander Calder, American, 1898 - 1976
Alexander Calder produced his first moving sculptures, which Marcel Duchamp dubbed “mobiles,” in the early 1930s. Using cutout shapes reminiscent of natural forms (birds, fish, falling leaves), Calder created floating three-dimensional worlds in constant flux. The large mobile Ghost installed in the Museum's Great Stair Hall was created to hang in the center of the Guggenheim Museum in New York for Calder’s exhibition there in 1964.
Born in Philadelphia, Calder was third in a line of distinguished sculptors from this city. The Swann Fountain in Logan Circle was created in 1924 by his father, Alexander Stirling Calder (1870–1945). On top of City Hall is the thirty-six-foot-high statue of William Penn by Calder’s grandfather, Alexander Milne Calder (1846–1923), who also designed all the stone sculptural ornament for the City Hall building.
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