Textile, Millmosaic, 1960
This is a Textile. It was designed by Alexander Hayden Girard and manufactured by Moss Rose Mfg. Co and produced by Herman Miller, Inc.. It is dated 1960 and we acquired it in 2002. Its medium is warp of nylon, weft of cotton and its technique is plain weave double cloth. It is a part of the Textiles department.
Millmosaic was introduced in 1960, while Alexander Girard was head of the Textile Division at Herman Miller. His work derived from a wide range of sources such as ancient and folk art, however the design for Millmosaic was most likely inspired by his interest in contemporary art, or more specifically, Op Art. The geometry of the alternating diamonds and triangles reverberates with the contrasting purple and green colors. As an upholstery material, it was compatible with his line of furniture, which sometimes used the same geometric configurations.
Alexander Girard was one of the leading American designers during the mid-20th century and was a strong proponent, along with his colleagues Eero Saarinen, Charles and Ray Eames, and George Nelson, for bringing an affordable modernism to the middle class. Educated as an architect at the Royal Institute of British Architects and the Royal School of Architecture in Rome, he came to the United States in 1932 to set up an architecture and interior design office in New York. Ultimately settling in Santa Fe, New Mexico, he continued to practice as a designer in the all-inclusive sense of the word: designing residences, exhibitions, corporate identities, and textiles throughout his career.
Although this particular fabric was not included in the 2001 exhibition, The Opulent Eye of Alexander Girard, it represents an important period of Girard’s work. By this point he was a successful and sought-after interior designer and had established an important reputation for himself and for the textiles division at Herman Miller.
Cooper-Hewitt is one of the most important repositories of Girard textiles. Although this example is woven, it relates to the triangular patterning of several Girard printed textiles in the collection (1969-165-109/112 and 1969-165-156/161) that were introduced several years earlier than Millmosaic.
 Leslie Piña, Alexander Girard Designs for Herman Miller (Atglen, PA : Schiffer, 1998).
It is credited
Gift of Nicholas A. Pappas, FAIA.
Its dimensions are
Warp x Weft: 92.1 x 142.9 cm (36 1/4 x 56 1/4 in.)
Cite this object as
Textile, Millmosaic, 1960; Designed by Alexander Hayden Girard (American, 1907–1993); warp of nylon, weft of cotton; Warp x Weft: 92.1 x 142.9 cm (36 1/4 x 56 1/4 in.); Gift of Nicholas A. Pappas, FAIA; 2002-14-1