The present lot is a portrait of Walton B. McDaniel drawn on a paper bag in the late 1920s. Alexander Calder and McDaniel were friends, and Dr. McDaniel detailed the story of acquiring the work in the paper, published on October 8th, 1976. 

Alexander Calder 1898–1976

Born in 1898 to Nanette Lederer Calder and Alexander Stirling Calder, a painter and a sculptor respectively, Alexander Calder was encouraged to be creative and make things by hand. As a child he made gifts for his family and jewelry for his sister’s dolls. In 1915, Calder attended Stevens Institute of Technology in New Jersey graduating in 1919 with a degree in mechanical engineering because his parents didn’t want him to struggle as an artist. After completing school, Calder work a myriad of jobs including draftsman for Edison Company, a staff member at Lumber magazine, coloring maps for a hydraulics engineer and timekeeper for a logging camp.

In the spring of 1922 Calder attended night classes in drawing and the following year he decides to pursue a career as a painter. By 1925 Calder had his first art exhibition and in 1926 he made his first sculptures out of wood and wire. Calder relocated to Paris, socializing with the Parisian avant-garde, and started making mechanical toys and abstract sculptures. His kinetic works, a departure from traditional sculpture, became known as ‘mobiles’, a term coined by Marcel Duchamp.

Calder’s artistic endeavors ranged from mobiles to stabiles (static sculptures) both small and large, to jewelry and paintings. Today his works can be found in numerous museum collections around the world including The Whitney Museum of American Art, the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris and the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in Madrid.

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Auction Results Alexander Calder

ALEXANDER CALDER, Untitled (Demi-cône) | ragoarts.com

Alexander Calder

Untitled (Demi-cône)

estimate: $600,000–800,000
result: $805,000
ALEXANDER CALDER, Earrings | ragoarts.com

Alexander Calder

Earrings

estimate: $30,000–50,000
result: $125,000
ALEXANDER CALDER, Zoo | ragoarts.com

Alexander Calder

Zoo

estimate: $30,000–50,000
result: $56,250
ALEXANDER CALDER, Waterface | ragoarts.com

Alexander Calder

Waterface

estimate: $40,000–60,000
result: $52,500
ALEXANDER CALDER, Cheval II | ragoarts.com

Alexander Calder

Cheval II

estimate: $20,000–30,000
result: $27,500
ALEXANDER CALDER, Belt buckle | ragoarts.com

Alexander Calder

Belt buckle

estimate: $15,000–20,000
result: $16,900
ALEXANDER CALDER, Target and Sign | ragoarts.com

Alexander Calder

Target and Sign

estimate: $1,500–2,000
result: $11,250
ALEXANDER CALDER, Deux Spirales | ragoarts.com

Alexander Calder

Deux Spirales

estimate: $2,500–3,500
result: $10,625
ALEXANDER CALDER, Composition | ragoarts.com

Alexander Calder

Composition

estimate: $1,000–1,500
result: $7,500
ALEXANDER CALDER, Balloons | ragoarts.com

Alexander Calder

Balloons

estimate: $1,000–1,500
result: $6,875
ALEXANDER CALDER, Untitled (Swirls) | ragoarts.com

Alexander Calder

Untitled (Swirls)

estimate: $2,000–3,000
result: $6,250
ALEXANDER CALDER, Untitled (Pinwheels and Pyramids) | ragoarts.com

Alexander Calder

Untitled (Pinwheels and Pyramids)

estimate: $2,500–4,500
result: $5,313
ALEXANDER CALDER, Circus portfolio | ragoarts.com

Alexander Calder

Circus portfolio

estimate: $1,000–1,500
result: $5,313
ALEXANDER CALDER, Deux Spirales | ragoarts.com

Alexander Calder

Deux Spirales

estimate: $2,500–3,500
result: $5,313
ALEXANDER CALDER, Untitled from the Flight portfolio | ragoarts.com

Alexander Calder

Untitled from the Flight portfolio

estimate: $2,000–3,000
result: $5,000
ALEXANDER CALDER, Mountain and Sun | ragoarts.com

Alexander Calder

Mountain and Sun

estimate: $1,500–2,500
result: $4,688
ALEXANDER CALDER, Grey Ellipse from the Our Unfinished Revolution portfolio | ragoarts.com

Alexander Calder

Grey Ellipse from the Our Unfinished Revolution portfolio

estimate: $1,000–1,500
result: $4,688
ALEXANDER CALDER, Sea Creatures | ragoarts.com

Alexander Calder

Sea Creatures

estimate: $2,000–3,000
result: $4,375
ALEXANDER CALDER, White Circles and Ellipses from the Our Unfinished Revolution portfolio | ragoarts.com

Alexander Calder

White Circles and Ellipses from the Our Unfinished Revolution portfolio

estimate: $1,000–1,500
result: $4,063
ALEXANDER CALDER, Matraque Rouge | ragoarts.com

Alexander Calder

Matraque Rouge

estimate: $1,000–1,500
result: $3,750
ALEXANDER CALDER, Ballons et cerf-volants | ragoarts.com

Alexander Calder

Ballons et cerf-volants

estimate: $1,000–1,500
result: $3,250
ALEXANDER CALDER, Trois Oignons | ragoarts.com

Alexander Calder

Trois Oignons

estimate: $1,500–2,500
result: $2,750
ALEXANDER CALDER, Portrait of James Jones | ragoarts.com

Alexander Calder

Portrait of James Jones

estimate: $3,000–5,000
result: $2,500
ALEXANDER CALDER, Hommage à Man Ray | ragoarts.com

Alexander Calder

Hommage à Man Ray

estimate: $1,500–2,500
result: $2,340