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Cranbrook Art Museum to feature modern designer Alexander Girard in new symposium

This often overlooked modern designer will be featured in a variety of upcoming events

Photo by PD Rearick, courtesy of the Cranbrook Academy of Art and Art Museum

In case you haven’t heard, Alexander Girard is kind of a big deal. The designer and architect is known for his fabrics that he created as director of the Herman Miller Textile Division between 1952 and 1973. He also designed modern furniture and wallpaper as well as tableware and radio cabinets. In order to share his achievements with the world, the Cranbrook Academy of Art and Art Museum is hosting a symposium in Girard’s name on July 22 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

In this examination of one of the country’s most influential and most overlooked modern designers, historian Deborah Kawsky will focus on Girard’s time in Detroit when he owned a design shop in Grosse Pointe. Curator Monica Obniski will also offer insight in Girard’s use of folk art as an inspiration.

Additionally, Curbed Architecture Critic Alexandra Lange will discuss his “ability to bring structure to seemingly disparate things, from found artifacts to city streetscapes,” according to a press release.

The “Uncovering the Fantasy and Magic of Alexander Girard” symposium is free and open to the public with seating on a first-come, first-served basis.

There are also additional Girard-focused events on their way to the museum. There will be a “family day” on August 12 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. with Girard-themed tours and activities, perfect for children under the age of 12.

There will also be “A Conversation in the Conversation Pit” on September 10 at 1 p.m. With museum admission, this free event will feature textile artist Ruth Adler Schnee and historian Deborah Kawsky discussing Girard and his accomplishments.

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