Portrait of the artist as a young engineer


Journal Article

The article discusses how Alexander Calder's engineering education had a profound influence on his art, especially as manifested in his signature compositions known as mobiles and stabiles. According to Calder's college transcript, his New York City home address while at school was 27 Waverly Place, which is on the fringe of Greenwich Village, by then established as a magnet for artists, poets and the avant-garde generally. The younger Calder's transcript also indicates that prior to entering Stevens Institute he had graduated from San Francisco's Lowell High School, where he took courses that prepared him well to enter an engineering curriculum: two units of algebra; one each of chemistry physics and plane geometry; and one half unit each of solid geometry and trigonometry. Calder took no fewer than 29 hours per week of course, shop and laboratory work during regular terms of his four years at Stevens, with some of the latter terms, which are even today notoriously laboratory intensive, having as many as 34 hours of class and laboratory time.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Petroski, H

Published Date

  • January 1, 2012

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 100 / 5

Start / End Page

  • 368 - 373

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0003-0996

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1511/2012.98.368

Citation Source

  • Scopus