This image comes from the historical archives of LIFE Magazine.
Remarkable artist Alexander Calder (1898 - 1976) profoundly revolutionized art with his invention of the mobile, a hanging structure connected by wires that moves with the wind. Playful yet profound, Calder’s mobiles exuded the joy of creating form and color. Originally an engineer, he became a freelance artist after taking classes at New York’s Art Students League. Mesmerized by the extravagance and wonder of the circus, he designed whimsical mobiles accompanied by music. With his simple yet ingenious mobiles, Calder ignored art’s formal structures, setting new standards for its limitless potential.