American, 1898-1976. Alexander Calder was born into a successful artist family in Pennsylvania but studied mechanical engineering before enrolling at the Art Students League in New York City. While working as an illustrator for the National Police Gazette, he was assigned to cover a traveling circus which became a lifelong inspiration for Calder. It inspired him to create Cirque Calder, a miniature working circus out of wire, wood and cloth while in Paris in 1926. This set him on a course working with wire and abstract shapes which led to his famous kinetic sculptures and mobiles. Calder referred to his wirework as "drawing in space" and eventually moved into creating monumental public sculptures out of steel. Though his work can be described as Abstract or Surreal, Calder was adamant that he did not work in any one style or genre.