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.

6 Comments on “Andre Girard: St. Ann’s Chapel, Palo Alto, 1952”

  1. Gerard Kysela says:

    Great website and pictures from the chapel!! Congratulations, Ellen and John, on getting this website going!!

    Best wishes,

    Gerry Kysela

  2. Bill Kysela says:

    Hi John, Congrats to you and Ellen on your tremendous work and research. It all brings back many memories I have of my three years in France, a truly beautiful country, especially for artists. We are looking forward to coming releases of your work. FORMIDABLE!!!

  3. Siri Yardumian Hurst says:

    Hello. I just received a phone call from someone in Bryn Athyn that you(Ellen) were looking for the Chapel that had all the Girards. We have about 56 and a book; I also own some of his films and worked with my late husband on producing The Story of Abraham. I met Andre several times and own some of his works. I’d enjoy talking to you.

    • Matthew Strong says:

      Hello, I had the privilege of restoring the out side panels of the Blessed Sacrament Church in Stowe Vt. that Andre Girard painted in 1949. The church has replaced the windows he painted at that time and they are now being sold. If your are interested in any of them please let me know.
      Matthew H. Strong

  4. Is there a book showing the art works, especially The Stations of the Cross, in St. Ann’s Chapel? I was married in the Chapel while my late husband and I were undergrads at Stanford.
    I would appreciate being directed to sources of information about a very beloved structure that was part of my long ago life.
    Gloria McConnell (past name Revak)

    • artistinwar says:

      Dear Gloria,
      Thanks so much for your note. There are no publications on the Stations, apart from some catalogues of earlier works that led up to the series at St. Ann’s Chapel. However, we’re working on our ebook and hope to have it available in the coming months.

      Ellen Fernandez-Sacco & John D. Kysela

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