Who Is Alexander Calder and Why Is He Part of a Google Doodle?

Today's Google Doodle is a mesmerizing geometric mobile that slowly spins above the search box. The Doodle commemorates the 113th birthday of Alexander Calder, an American artist and sculptor famous for inventing the mobile.

Calder was a life-long artist who studied in New York and Paris. As his artistic talent flourished in the early 1930s, he became interested in wire sculpture and kinetic art. These two interests merged to create what would be called "mobiles," a French term that refers to both "motion" and "motive."

Originally these kinetic structures were moved by cranks and pulleys, but Calder developed a delicate touch and harnessed the natural air flow of a room to spin his creations. Calder's largest moving sculpture, a 76-foot-long mobile, hangs from the ceiling of the East Building of the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C.

Calder continued to develop sculptures both large and small, mobile and stationary until his death in 1976 at the age of 78. [Google and The Calder Foundation and The National Gallery of Art]


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