Sunday, December 10, 2017

Art History for Kids: Animals in the Circus by Alexander Calder

August 24, 2012 by  
Filed under Art History, Artists Biographies

Share

Today, as a part of our art history for kids series, we will talk about Alexander Calder and his animals in the circus. Many artists have chosen the circus as a favorite theme for their art, but none like Alexander Calder. He built a whole circus for himself, he was the ring master, the performer, the acrobat, and the creator of the animals.

Alexander Calder was born in 1898 in Pennsylvania, USA, to a family of artists. His grandfather and his father were both sculptors, and his mother was a painter. As a young boy, he enjoyed making wire and wooden toys, and jewelry for his sister.

Although he studied mechanical engineering, he eventually decided he wanted to be an artist as well.  He is best known for his colorful mobiles, abstract sculptures, and jewelry.

At age 26, he was hired as an illustrator for a newspaper and assigned to cover the circus. Calder fell in love with the performances and the circus life and decided to construct his own circus figures with wire.

His miniature circus was made of wire, metal and wood. He loved to make his circus figures “perform” for an audience. For many years he was invited to give shows in America and abroad. He made tiny wire performers, ingeniously articulated to walk tightropes, dance, lift weights and engage in acrobatics in the ring.

Alexander Calder and his animals in the circus

Alexander Calder and his animals in the circus

Alexander Calder and his animals in the circus

Alexander Calder and his animals in the circus

Alexander Calder and his animals in the circus

Alexander Calder and his animals in the circus

Alexander Calder and his animals in the circus

Alexander Calder and his animals in the circus

Alexander Calder and his animals in the circus

Alexander Calder and his animals in the circus

Alexander Calder and his animals in the circus

Alexander Calder and his animals in the circus

Alexander Calder and his animals in the circus

Alexander Calder and his animals in the circus

(It is great to live in the Washington DC Area, we can visit and work close to our favorite artists!)

Alexander Calder and his animals in the circus

Alexander Calder and his animals in the circus

Alexander Calder and his animals in the circus

Alexander Calder and his animals in the circus

Alexander Calder and his animals in the circus

To make a project about the animals in the circus, click in the image:

Speak Your Mind

Tell us what you're thinking...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!