Man Cub

Alexander Stirling Calder

Alexander Stirling Calder was the son of the Scottish-born sculptor Alexander Milne Calder whose chief legacy is the elaborate sculptural decoration of Philadelphia's City Hall, in which he was assisted by his young son. After studies at the Pennsylvania Academy, Calder traveled to Europe in 1889 and 1890 with classmates from the Academy school. Back in the United States in 1892, Calder plunged into his career as a professional artist, executing monuments for many major projects including, in Philadelphia, the Witherspoon Building, the Swann Memorial Fountain, and the Shakespeare Memorial at Logan Circle, as well as the sculptures for the Panama Pacific International Exposition (1915) and the War Memorial Arch in Washington Square in New York (1919). "Man Cub," modeled from life, depicts the sculptor's son, Alexander ("Sandy" Calder), at the age of three. The simple, playful treatment gives the work the freshness of a sketch. The plaster was shown in 1904 at both the Academy annual and the Louisiana Purchase Exposition in Saint Louis. After purchasing it, the Academy had the cast shown here made. The plaster is now lost. Another bronze cast is in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
Date of Birth
Bronze with black patina; sand cast in 1905-6
48 3/4 x 15 1/4 x 13 3/4 in. (123.825 x 38.735 x 34.925 cm.)
Accession #
Credit Line
Cast by the Pennsylvania Academy from the plaster purchased by subscription