Alexander Calder (1898-1976) was an American sculptor most famous for inventing the mobile. However, he also created paintings, lithographs, monoprints, toys, tapestries and designs for carpeting.
His father, Alexander Stirling Calder, and grandfather were both noted sculptors, while his mother was a portrait painter. At the age of four, Calder posed nude for his father’s sculpture The Man Cub, which is now at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
Calder trained as a mechanical engineer, but in the mid-1920s pursued an art career. His sculptures have appeared in many prominent public places, such as at the World Trade Center and John F. Kennedy Airport. His work has been exhibited at and collected by many of the world’s preeminent museums. Major retrospectives have also been mounted by museums including the Whitney Museum and the Museum of Modern Art. President Gerald Ford posthumously awarded Calder the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the United States’ highest civilian honor, in 1977.