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Alexander Milne Calder

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Alexander Milne Calder
A Tacony Iron Works employee with the head of Calder's statue of William Penn in 1894; the statue now stands atop Philadelphia City Hall
Born(1846-08-23)August 23, 1846
Aberdeen, Scotland
DiedJune 4, 1923(1923-06-04) (aged 76)
Resting placeWest Laurel Hill Cemetery (Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania, U.S.)
NationalityAmerican
EducationPennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts
Known forSculpture

Alexander Milne Calder (August 23, 1846 – June 4, 1923) (MILL-nee) was a Scottish American sculptor best known for the architectural sculpture of Philadelphia City Hall. Both his son, Alexander Stirling Calder, and grandson, Alexander Calder, became significant sculptors in the 20th century.

Early life and education

Calder was born in Aberdeen, Scotland, the son of a tombstone carver. He attended the Royal Academy in Edinburgh during which he worked for sculptor John Rhind, the father of sculptor J. Massey Rhind. Calder then moved to London, where he worked on the Albert Memorial. In 1868, he emigrated to the United States and settled in Philadelphia, where he studied with Joseph A. Bailly and attended the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts.

Career

In 1873, he was hired by architect John McArthur Jr., to produce models for the sculptures adorning Philadelphia City Hall. The commission required more than 250 marble and bronze pieces and took Calder twenty years to complete. That same year, Calder was commissioned by the forerunner of Philadelphia's current Association for Public Art, the Fairmount Park Art Association, to create an equestrian statue of Major General George Gordon Meade for Fairmount Park. Then in 1875, he won the competition for the colossal (37 foot tall) bronze statue of William Penn that was to crown the new City Hall's tower. That portrait sculpture remains to this day the largest atop any building in the world.[1][2][3]

Calder is buried in West Laurel Hill Cemetery in Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania, a Philadelphia suburb.

Notable works

Images

Sources

  • Bach, Penny Balkin, Public Art in Philadelphia, Temple University Press, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1992 ISBN 0-87722-822-1
  • Craven, Wayne, Sculpture in America, Thomas Y Crowell Co, NY, NY 1968 ISBN 0-87413-225-8
  • Fairmount Park Association, Sculpture of a City: Philadelphia's Treasures in Bronze and Stone, Walker Publishing Co., Inc, NY. NY 1974 ISBN 0-8027-7100-9
  • Hayes, Margaret Calder Three Alexander Calders, Paul S Eriksson Publisher, Middlebury, Vermont, 1977 ISBN 0-8397-8017-6
  • Kvaran and Lockley, A Guide to Architectural Sculpture in America, unpublished manuscript
  • Williams, Oliver P., County Courthouses of Pennsylvania: A Guide, Stackpole Books, Mechanicsburg, PA 2001 ISBN 0-8117-2738-6

References

  1. ^ Fodor's Philadelphia and the Pennsylvania Dutch Country, New York: Fodor Travel Publications, 2007, 51.
  2. ^ Hornblum, Allen M., and George J. Holmes, Philadelphia's City Hall, Mount Pleasant: Arcadia Publishing, 2003.
  3. ^ DK Travel, DK Eyewitness Travel Guide to Philadelphia and the Pennsylvania Dutch Country, Westminster: Penguin Random House, 2017, 74-5.
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Alexander Milne Calder
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