Inside Girard's Arts and Crafts Palace
The online publication, The Beautiful Home, recently published an essay about Bill Girard's personal residence. The article is accompanied with several lovely photos of the artist's home and some of the pieces, murals, sculptures, etc., that adorned it. As well as others.
Find that article here: https://the-beautiful-home.com/william-girard/
Unfortunately, it occurs to me that said article fails to reference a recurring theme in the artist's life: a theme that might provide a key to understanding the person, the work and the artist. Consider that Girard
- Rejected the the option of a career in architecture (as urged by his father) in favor of a career dedicated to the creation of handcrafted objects (i.e. art) not unlike one of the more noted advocates of the Arts and Crafts movement, William Morris
- Studied (briefly, to be sure) at Detroit's Society of Arts and Crafts and later taught at the art college that it evolved into
- Created his personal, private palace inside an aging Arts and Crafts home (constructed around 1916)
The publication's editor is the accomplished Michael Curtis. Please consider browsing his considerable library of articles addressing architecture and related professions. Topics range from storybook (illustrated) homes, notable American architects, to Mid-century Modern Cool.
In 2021, Curtis published an essay of his own about Bill Girard that classified him as one of the country's eminent artists. Apparently, the art market has yet to take full cognizance of this assessment as Girard's auction prices are still ridiculously affordable. According to invaluable.com, a noteworthy Girard bronze (Erotic Couple) sold for $375 in early 2022.
Perhaps this piece was influenced by Rodin. My guess is that this piece was part of the Allen Abramson collection until his passing. However, it is not known how many castings might have been made.
Curtis's LinkedIn profile includes the following summation:
Sculptor, architectural designer, historian, painter and poet, Michael Curtis has taught and lectured at universities, colleges, and museums, including, The Institute of Classical Architecture, The Center for Creative Studies, and The National Gallery of Art; his pictures and statues are housed in over 400 private and public collections, including The Library of Congress, The National Portrait Gallery, and The Supreme Court;he has made statues of presidents, generals, Supreme Court Justices, captains of industry and national heroes, including Davey Crockett, General Eisenhower, and Justice Thurgood Marshall; his relief and medals are especially fine, they include, among others, presidents Truman and Reagan, Justice John Marshall, George Washington, and, his History of Texas, containing over one-hundred figures, is the largest American relief sculpture of the 20th Century; his monuments and memorials, buildings and houses, including The New American Home, 2011, are found coast-to-coast; and then, his plays, essays, verse and translations have been published in over 30 journals (Trinacria, Society of Classical Poets, Expansive Poetry, et cetera), and his most recent nonfiction books are, Occasional Poetry: How to Write Poems for Any Occasion (available through The Studio Press), and The Classical Architecture and Monuments of Washington, D.C. (available through The History Press).
Curtis is also the prime mover behind:
- GIRARD? GIRARD WHO?
- GIRARD'S DAVID: A SMALL MIRACLE IN TERRA COTTA
- GIRARD'S U of M ART EXHIBIT FIASCO (1981): JUDY IN THE STARS
- BILL GIRARD: THE PODCAST
- GIRARD PAINTING "RIMA" HITS MARKET
- NOTED GERMAN SCIENTIST CRACKS HIEROGLYPHIC CODE OF ARTIST BILL GIRARD
- BILL GIRARD: ART ARISTOCRACY?
- DETROIT NEWS ART CRITIC REVIEWS BILL GIRARD (1967)
- GIRARD: THE FAIRY'S TALE. PART I - A PROSE POEM FOR PERFORMANCE
- CONVERSATION WITH AN EARLY GIRARD COLLECTOR: MR. DOUBLEDAY
- ART AS ANODYNE FOR A YOUNG PATIENT: A GIRARD ANECDOTE
- GIRARD'S PINCKNEY, MICHIGAN, MURALS (CIRCA 2005)
- 2 ARTISTS. 4 PAINTINGS. WHICH GET IN THE SHOW?
- A LETTER FROM BILL: THE "NION" WOMAN
- GIRARD LIMERICK #1: THERE ONCE WAS AN ARTIST NAMED BILL
- GIRARD LIMERICK #2: GIRARD FOUND THE KEY TO HIS ART IN THE ATTIC
- A FASCINATION WITH FAIRIES. (EXCERPT)
Master of Mud (aka artist) and former Center for Creative Studies (CCS), Detroit, professor of art, Bill (William J.) Girard Jr., passed away in 2011. The website created to honor him is found at https://girardsvasari.com/