Bloomfield Hills — Cranbrook Art Museum hosts the U.S. debut of an exhibition featuring the work of an influential modernist designer who was less well known than many of his contemporaries.

“Alexander Girard: A Designer’s Universe” opened Saturday at the Bloomfield Hills museum. It features hundreds of examples of Girard’s work, including furniture, textiles, graphics, architecture, drawings and sculptures.

Organizers say Girard embraced and helped shape a mid-century modernism employed by Charles and Ray Eames, Eero Saarinen and others. Museum Director Andrew Blauvelt calls Girard “the secret sauce” in a movement that embraced whimsy, color and decor — things European modernists had earlier rejected.

The Italy-raised Girard, who lived in Michigan from 1937 to 1953, was Herman Miller’s director of textile design for 21 years.

The exhibit runs through Oct. 8.

For tickets and more information go to the Cranbrook Museum website.


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