The Girard Collection: Enduring Appeal It is entirely possible to be both delighted and overwhelmed by the Alexander Girard’s one-of-a-kind exhibition—even after more than twenty-five years. The vastness of the exhibit space, the complexity of the design, the sheer quantity of objects on display—the immensity and intensity can be overpowering. And compelling.That’s why Multiple Visions: A Common Bond has been the destination for well over a million first-time and repeat visitors to the Museum of International Folk Art. First, second, third, or countless times around, we find our gaze drawn by different objects, different scenes. With more than 10,000 objects to see, this exhibition continues to enchant museum visitors, staff and patrons.
With his singular vision and intuitive understanding of the multiplicity of cultures and artistic genres, perhaps Girard himself felt the same unflagging delight when he was designing the exhibit. Girard rewards those who look carefully with touches of wit and whimsy, amazing us with his command of detail and sense of perspective. He appeals to children and adults alike who peer into the sets from different angles, to glimpse people and animals, puppets, dolls, and small figures of clay, wood, paper, cloth, and, yes, even plastics. Some look familiar, clearly identifiable as the products of specific cultures and places. Others take us to places we can only imagine. Who can ever tire of going back to these places of enjoyment and creativity?
The Girard Family collection of more than 100,000 objects is unique in part because of its size and breadth: more than 100 countries on six continents are represented. Enjoy this text-free gallery with or without a docent, pick up a Gallery Guide to read more about the cases, or pick up a multi-media tour on an Ipod touch available at the front desk for no additional fee.
"I believe we should preserve this evidence of the past, not as a pattern for sentimental imitation, but as nourishment for the creative spirit of the present."
- Alexander Girard