Andre Girard: St. Ann’s Chapel, Palo Alto, 1952

This companion site for the forthcoming book An Artist at War: Andre Girard (1901-1968) comprises a selection of images from three major periods of Girard’s life, his involvement in art and advertising of the 1930s, the creation of his resistance network CARTE in the early 1940s and his sacred art of the 1950s, which includes the commission for the decoration of St. Ann Chapel in Palo Alto, by Clare Boothe Luce.

Girard’s art and his involvement with different technologies – theatre, film, radio, television—span three decades of continued experimentation.  He sought to convey the transparency of light and movement despite the limitations of media.

Perhaps his most audacious attempt was painting on glass at Saint Ann’s Chapel in 1953. Since Easter is upon us, we’ve decided to show some images of his windows and Stations of the Cross.

The Chapel is a small, modern brick building, designed by architect Vincent G. Raney in 1950, built by Luce on behalf of the Newman Club at Stanford University.

Girard’s commission was for a series of four narrow 18′ windows, each dominated by a different color that together constitute a multicolored mural with scenes of Jesus’ teachings.

Directly across from the windows are his series of 14 Stations of the Cross. Sequentially arranged in simple wood frames, they were arranged in a row with each painting angled slightly so that natural light illuminates the panels.