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Alexander Girard

Alexander Girard: A Designer's Universe

In 1957, Charles Eames wrote, "There is perhaps no designer of our time more concerned with the selection of beautiful things, and their relation to our environment than Alexander Girard." Although Girard was one of the most important and influential designers of the twentieth century—he planned buildings, interiors and corporate designs; drew logos and lettering; designed textiles, goods for the home, furniture, dresses, murals, postage stamps, secret codes, toys, matchboxes and even packaging for sugar cubes; curated exhibitions, ran a design studio; and amassed a collection of 90,000 works of folk art—there has never been a comprehensive monograph on this titan of twentieth-century design until now. Culled from the vast holdings of Girard’s private estate, this 512-page monograph by the world renowned Vitra Design Museum is gorgeous, playful, scholarly, rich and absolutely essential. Featured here is an illustration from the exhibition catalogue, The Magic of a People, Girard's keynote pavilion for the 1968 World’s Fair in San Antonio, Texas.

Girard worked for three months, seven days a week, fourteen hours per day on the building design and exhibition installation. "The Magic of a People, as Girard named the exhibition, presented over 10,000 objects from his own collection in an area of roughly 3500 square feet: folk art from Central and South America, placed into scenes in 41 individual dioramas with exquisite details. Nothing escaped Girard’s attention; every tiny thing was important to him. Georgia O’Keeffe helped him select the stones for the landscape settings in the dioramas. For a Mexican village scene, Girard made dozens of miniature banners to decorate the streets. He had the exterior of the L-shaped pavilion painted in vivid colors and adorned with a stylized golden sun and a silver half-moon. A huge snake slithered across the wall on one side of the building, while a 'tree of life' greeted visitors at the entrance."

Alexander Girard: A Designer's Universe

Alexander Girard: A Designer's Universe

Vitra Design Museum
Clth, 7.75 x 10.75 in. / 512 pgs / illustrated throughout.

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