In the mid-1940s, the designer Alexander Girard experimented with a series of abstract sculptures made of glass, foam rubber, corrugated cardboard, driftwood, plywood and solid wood – including an avian figure carved by hand out of wood from an apple tree. These sculptures were presented in the July 1945 issue of the American magazine ‘Arts & Architecture’.
Today, the original wooden bird is held by the Vitra Design Museum as a part of the Girard Archive. In close cooperation with the Girard family, Vitra has brought this figure back to life: though its avian features are reduced to a minimum, the Girard Bird is clearly recognisable as a member of its species. The archaic-looking figure, made from solid maple wood sourced in France, can stand on its feet or tail.
Along with his colleagues Charles and Ray Eames and George Nelson, Alexander Girard was one of the leading figures in American design during the post-war era. While textile design was the primary focus of his oeuvre, Girard was also admired for his graphic art as well as his work in furniture, exhibition and interior design.
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