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 "Sandy" Calder, became significant sculptors in the 20th century.


Alexander Milne Calder was born in Aberdeen, Scotland, the son of a tombstone carver. He began his career in Scotland, working for sculptor John Rhind, the father of sculptor J. Massey Rhind while attending the Royal Academy in Edinburgh. He moved to London and worked on the Albert Memorial. Calder emigrated to the United States in 1868 and settled in Philadelphia, where he studied with Joseph A. Bailly, and took classes (as would his son Alexander Stirling Calder) at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. 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.DK Travel, ''DK Eyewitness Travel Guide to Philadelphia and the Pennsylvania Dutch Country'', Westminster: Penguin Random House, 2017, 74-5. Alexander Milne Calder is buried in West Laurel Hill Cemetery in suburban Philadelphia's Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania.

Notable works

*Philadelphia City Hall architectural sculpture, John McArthur, Jr. architect, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 1873 – 1893. *''General Meade'', West Fairmount Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 1887. *''William Warner Tomb'', Laurel Hill Cemetery, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 1889. *''William Penn'', 37-foot-tall statue atop Philadelphia City Hall, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, placed in 1894.


File:Alex M Calder.jpg|William Warner Tomb, Laurel Hill Cemetery (1889). File:73rd_PA_Infantry_Monument.jpg|73rd Pennsylvania Infantry monument, Gettysburg Battlefield. 1889 File:IndianFigureCityHallTowerc.1892.jpg|Indian Figure, prior to installation on City Hall, c. 1892. File:City Hall Philadelphia.jpg|Philadelphia City Hall in 1899. File:Phlcityhalldetail.jpg|South Portal. File:City Hall holiday.jpg|West Portal, illuminated with colored lights (2005). File:Philadelphia City Hall-zoom.JPG|''William Penn'' (1894), atop City Hall. File:BillyPenn.jpg|''William Penn'' faces northeast, so the face is generally in shadow.


*Bach, Penny Balkin, ''Public Art in Philadelphia'', Temple University Press, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1992 *Craven, Wayne, ''Sculpture in America'', Thomas Y Crowell Co, NY, NY 1968 *Fairmount Park Association, ''Sculpture of a City: Philadelphia's Treasures in Bronze and Stone'', Walker Publishing Co., Inc, NY. NY 1974 *Hayes, Margaret Calder ''Three Alexander Calders'', Paul S Eriksson Publisher, Middlebury, Vermont, 1977 *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


External links

Biography at West Laurel Hill Cemetery web siteAlexander Milne Calder page at Philadelphia Public ArtPlaque honoring Alexander Milne Calder at Philadelphia Public Art
* {{DEFAULTSORT:Calder, Alexander Milne Category:1846 births Category:1923 deaths Category:Artists from Aberdeen Category:American architectural sculptors Category:Scottish emigrants to the United States Category:Scottish sculptors Category:Scottish male sculptors Category:Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts alumni Category:Artists from Philadelphia Category:20th-century American sculptors Category:20th-century male artists Category:19th-century American sculptors Category:American male sculptors Category:Sculptors from Pennsylvania Category:19th-century male artists Category:Burials at West Laurel Hill Cemetery