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Alexander Calder (1898-1976) received a degree in mechanical engineering at Stevens Institute of Technology (New Jersey) prior to studying at the Art Students League in New York between 1923 and 1925. In 1926 Calder received his first solo exhibition of paintings. Shortly thereafter, he began working on a miniature circus comprised of wood and wire figures until its completion in 1931. That same year, Calder started to construct "mobiles"-abstract sculpture with moving parts. Calder's creative enterprises were cross-disciplinary and exceeded the traditional definitions of painting and sculpture; throughout the course of his career Calder developed sets for a variety of theatrical, musical, and dance performances, collaborated on films, illustrated books, produced wallpaper, fabrics, and costumes, created designs for racing cars and airplanes, and embraced humanitarian causes. Calder's enterprising outlook was in many ways connected to his enthusiasm for travel. As a result of his multifarious involvements, Calder secured an international reputation and was awarded commissions, prizes and honorary degrees around the world.
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