The Portraits

Staff member working in collections and putting a painting away

Self-Portrait

Artist
Alexander Calder, 22 Jul 1898 - 11 Nov 1976
Sitter
Alexander Calder, 22 Jul 1898 - 11 Nov 1976
Date
1925
Type
Painting
Medium
Oil on canvas
Dimensions
Accurate: 50.8 x 40.6 cm (20 x 16")
Frame: 58.3 × 48.1 × 3.5 cm (22 15/16 × 18 15/16 × 1 3/8")
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of the artist
Restrictions & Rights
© 2010 Calder Foundation, New York / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Object number
NPG.71.35
Exhibition Label
Born Lawnton, Pennsylvania
After working as an engineer in various capacities and places, Alexander Calder began painting New York City street scenes and portraits. These reflect the realist approach of his teachers at the Art Students League, notably John Sloan. In this work Calder pictures himself as a handsome young man still sporting the mustache he said he “raised . . . to look more like a seasoned engineer.”
Calder created this self-portrait at the moment when his career was beginning to take off with the wire sculptures he made. In it we see a contemplative view of a young man in the process of establishing his reputation as a professional artist.
Provenance
The artist; gift 1971 to NPG.
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery
See more items in
National Portrait Gallery Collection
Exhibition
20th Century Americans: 1900-1930 (re-installation 2012)
On View
NPG, South Gallery 322