Alexander Girard collected folk art from all over the world. Over the years, he built up a large private archive in Santa Fe, which is now owned by Santa Fe’s Museum of International Folk Art. But what is actually meant by the term folk art? And why was Alexander Girard so fascinated by it? In an interview, his grandchildren Kori and Aleishall Girard answer this and other questions."Folk Art is an ancient global tradition which facilitates the preservation of cultural traditions through artwork made for the people, not for mass production. As a young child in the early part of the 20th century many of the toys Alexander Girard was given were considered folk art in and of themselves and thus his exposure to this tradition began as part of his childhood. One of his earliest toys was a handmade wooden Pinocchio doll which is now housed as part of the collection he donated to the International Museum of Folk Art in Santa Fe, New Mexico.Both his grandfather and father were in the business of buying and selling antiques and as such Girard was introduced to the concept of collecting as an integrated part of life. Visiting markets and curio shops was as much a family tradition as celebrating Christmas. While most of what he may have seen as a child was in the European tradition, you can see evidence of his more global interests in the earliest interiors he designed for his own apartment as a teen in Florence, Italy, including small African sculptures and textiles from India."
Kori Girard and Aleishall Girard Maxon are the grandchildren of Alexander Girard and co-direct Girard Studio, the entity charged with preserving, protecting and sharing the vast legacy of Alexander Girard. Both artists and designers in their own rights, the siblings work from their homes in Berkeley, California. The Swiss fashion house Akris found inspiration for Spring / Summer 2018 in the work and motifs of Alexander Girard. The label presented the collection in the Vitra Campus Fire Station on 13 July, 2018.