Vitra Design Museum talked about the work of Alexander Girard for the better part of the past year. But what kind of person was Girard? How did he live and work? What drove him? Who better to ask than his enigmatic grandchildren Aleishall and Kori Girard …

Alexander Girard (1907– 1993) was one of the most important modern textile artists and interior designers of the twentieth century. He worked closely with such designers as Charles Eames and George Nelson and combined Pop Art and Folk Art influences to create a colourfully opulent aesthetic language whose impact continues to be felt today. Girard’s most well-known interiors include the Irwin Miller House in Columbus, Indiana (1953, architect: Eero Saarinen), his own home in Santa Fe (from 1953) and the restaurants La Fonda Del Sol (1960) and L’Etoile (1966) in New York. In 1965, Girard conceived the entire corporate design for Braniff International Airways, from plane tickets and other printed matter to the lounges and even the airplanes themselves. Over the course of his life, the American designer with Italian roots collected more than 100,000 folk art objects from all over the world, which he regarded as a source of inspiration for his own work but which also served as the basis for spectacular exhibition installations. The first comprehensive retrospective of Girard’s oeuvre in Europe is able to draw on the Vitra Design Museum’s holdings from his private estate, which are being subjected to scholarly documentation and review for the first time in the context of the exhibition.

More information: Vitra Design Museum

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