Although its features are reduced to a minimum, the archaic-looking Girard Bird (1945) by Alexander Girard is clearly recognisable as an avian creature.
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: although its features are reduced to a minimum, the archaic-looking Girard Bird (1945) by Alexander Girard is clearly recognisable as an avian creature. 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 postwar era. While textile design was the primary focus of Girard’s oeuvre, he was also admired for his work in the graphic arts as well as furniture, exhibition and interior design. Girard brought a sensuous playfulness to twentieth-century design that had been absent from the austere aesthetic of classic modernism.
Girard devoted the same level of attention to every visible surface in an interior. Ceilings, walls and floors were treated with great care and coordinated with the moveable objects in the room.