Alexander Girard


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American designer Girard's career embraced a wide range of disciplines including architecture, interiors, furniture, industrial, and graphic design. Having been brought up in Florence, Italy, he studied at the Architectural Association in London, graduating in 1929. He also studied in Rome and New York, where he opened an office in 1932. An early success in his architectural career was a Gold Medal at the 1929 International Exhibition at Barcelona for the design of the Italian Pavilion and that of the Guild of Florentine Craftsworkers. Having moved to Detroit in 1937 much of his early work was connected with the American automobile industry, for which he worked on interiors for Ford and Lincoln, becoming Colour Consultant to the General Motors Research Centre in 1945. In 1952 he was appointed as Design Director of Textiles at leading furniture manufacturer Herman Miller, for whom he also designed Textiles and Objects Shops in New York in 1961. In 1964 he was responsible for the distinctive corporate identity of Braniff International airlines that included a multicoloured fleet of aircraft. Girard was widely recognized through the gaining of a number of prestigious awards, including the Gold Medal from the American Crafts Council in 1955 for stimulating interest in folk art, a topic about which he wrote as well as revealing influences in his textile design. He was also a keen collector of folk artefacts from around the world and often incorporated colourful, geometric motifs into his textiles.

Subjects: Industrial and Commercial Art.

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