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Object Timeline

  • We acquired this object.

1954

  • Work on this object began.

2021

  • You found it!

Textile, Multiform, 1954

This is a Textile. It was designed by Alexander Hayden Girard and manufactured by Herman Miller Textiles. It is dated 1954. Its medium is linen and its technique is screen printed. It is a part of the Textiles department.

Alexander Girard had a lifelong love of typography and symbols, and frequently included them in his designs. On a trip to West Africa, he collected an assortment of adinkra stamps in Ghana, now at the Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe. Adinkra is a complex visual language in which abstract symbols represent proverbs or commonly held ideals among the Ashanti people; cloths printed with adinkra symbols are worn at funerary ceremonies. Girard later carved his own set of adinkra-style stamps and used them to create the design for Multiform, which was printed in a far more joyous palette than the traditional black-on-black worn by Ashanti men.
Multiform was used as draperies in the office/ playroom of the Eero Saarinen-designed Irwin Miller House, Girard's most famous interior commission.

This object was donated by George R. Kravis II. It is credited Gift of George R. Kravis II.

Its dimensions are

Warp x Weft: 149.9 × 130.8 cm (59 in. × 51 1/2 in.)

Cite this object as

Textile, Multiform, 1954; Designed by Alexander Hayden Girard (American, 1907–1993); linen; Warp x Weft: 149.9 × 130.8 cm (59 in. × 51 1/2 in.); Gift of George R. Kravis II; 2018-22-129

If you would like to cite this object in a Wikipedia article please use the following template:

<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url=https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/420557275/ |title=Textile, Multiform, 1954 |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=16 May 2021 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>