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Paper costumes for A Nightmare Side Show, one of thirteen group processions performed during Paper Ball: Le Cirque des Chiffonniers, First Hartford Festival, Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, Connecticut, 15 February 1936 Standing, left to right: André Masson, Kay Sage, and Calder; sitting, left to right: André Breton, Susanna Perkins Hare, Louisa Calder, Rose Masson, Diego Masson, Charlie Prescott, Mary Calder, and Teeny Matisse, Roxbury, 1941 Alexander Calder was born in 1898, the second child of artist parents—his father was a sculptor and his mother a painter.Because his father, Alexander Stirling Calder, received public commissions, the family traversed the country throughout Calder's childhood.The experience made a lasting impression on Calder: he would refer to it throughout his life.Calder committed to becoming an artist shortly thereafter, and in 1923 he moved to New York and enrolled at the Art Students League.Calder found he enjoyed working with wire for his circus.

He instead enrolled at the Stevens Institute of Technology after high school and graduated in 1919 with an engineering degree.

Calder's earliest attempts at large, outdoor sculptures were also constructed in this decade. The duck is kinetic, rocking back and forth when tapped.

These predecessors of his later imposing public works were much smaller and more delicate; the first attempts made for his garden were easily bent in strong winds. Corder; produced and written by David Idema; cinematography by Werner Schneider; narrated by Tom Saizan; edited by Bill Prins. (Sweeney 1943, 57; Hayes 1977, 41) Before 11 January: For his father's birthday, Calder makes , a game consisting of five painted animals—a tiger, a lion, and three bears—and a wooden board with nails divided into six pens.

Their first daughter, Sandra, was born in 1935, and a second daughter, Mary, followed in 1939. Calder attends Germantown Academy for two or three months while his parents search for a house close to New York City.

He also began his association with the Pierre Matisse Gallery in New York with his first show in 1934. (Calder 1966, 28; CF, Calder 1955–56, 7) Winter: The Calders move to Croton-on-Hudson, New York.

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