We can and I firmly believe we should, preserve evidence of the past, not as a pattern for sentimental imitation but as nourishment for the creative spirit of the present.
Textiles & Objects Shop
“Unusual & Sympathetic Decorative Objects, Selected by Alexander Girard”
Alexander Girard’s Textiles & Objects Shop opened in New York City on May 22, 1961, with the financial backing of Herman Miller. The idea for the shop grew out of Girard's and his wife Susan’s fervent collecting of folk art, particularly from South America. Finding themselves with an abundance of inventory, they decided to open a shop and also sell Girard-designed textiles, toys, decorative home goods and the designs of other artists he loved (such as the dolls of Marilyn Neuhart). Despite the passionate vision of the shop, it was a near-immediate financial failure, due largely to a lack of consumer fanfare. Public taste was still very much in line with the conservative 1950s and the radical shifts in American culture hadn’t yet happened. Girard’s designs are enduring in their prescience for the modern, playful, curious spirit that was to come.
These photos were taken by Charles Eames on the day the shop opened. Eames stools, Girard textile panels and pillows, wooden Mexican dolls and Marilyn Neuhart dolls can all be seen on display. The shop was also revolutionary in its design, featuring glass shelving and fabric panels that divided the long, narrow space.
That is the real mark of discrimination, to be able to see something out of context, to take something because one sees it and wants to see it again. And the proof comes when one does see it again and finds that it looks even better than it did the first time.