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Every piece was small enough to be packed into a large trunk, enabling the artist to carry it with him and hold performances anywhere.

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Calder's renderings of his circus often lasted about two hours and were quite elaborate.

Indeed, the predated performance art by forty years.

Despite his talents, Calder did not originally set out to become an artist.

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

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.

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.

For three weeks following this visit, he created solely abstract paintings, only to discover that he did indeed prefer sculpture to painting. So I sent them another dollar and told them, “Look again.” They corroborated the first statement., in Philadelphia. (Calder 1966, 13) Spring: Stirling Calder contracts tuberculosis. (Calder 1966, 15; Hayes 1977, 18) End of March: Nanette picks up Calder and Peggy and they rejoin their father in Oracle.

Soon after, he was invited to join Abstraction-Création, an influential group of artists (including Jean Arp, Mondrian, and Jean Hélion) with whom he had become friendly. Calder's parents move to a ranch in Oracle, Arizona, leaving Calder and his sister Peggy in the care of Dr. Calder befriends Riley, an elderly man recuperating at the ranch who shows him "how to make a wigwam out of burlap bags pinned together with nails." (Calder 1966, 16) Fall: The Calders move to Pasadena, California.

In October of 1930, Calder visited the studio of Piet Mondrian in Paris and was deeply impressed by a wall of colored paper rectangles that Mondrian continually repositioned for compositional experiments. But my grandfather Milne’s birthday was on August 23, so there might have been a little confusion.

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