Alexander "Sandy" Calder was born in Lawnton, Pennsylvania on July 22, 1898. His father, Stirling Calder, was a well-known sculptor who created many public installations, a majority of them in nearby Philadelphia.

Calder was a pioneer of sculpture, creating the 'mobile', which brought kinetic movement to his works, allowing them to be pushed by the hand, air currents or electric motors.

He became good friends with Joan Miro, and both artists influenced each other in turn. Calder was awarded first prize for sculpture at the Venice Biennale in 1952.

Calder also created paintings and works on paper, as well as jewellery and costume designs.