Mural, "Reflections of an Era," by Alexander Girard

Mural, “Reflections of an Era,” by Alexander Girard

The picture above is just a tiny section of the piece described as an 3D mural that I saw at the John Deere World Headquarters. Why on earth was I there? As part of the One State Together in the Arts Conference, we got to take a tour and see the art collection at John Deere. We saw the piece above, lots of giant tractors that were indoors, a Chagall, a Miro and much more.

Fellow artists at the conference were drawn to the maquette for the piece:

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Maquette for Mural, "Reflections of an Era," by Alexander Girard

It’s so tiny and charming, isn’t it? Each artifact from the time that John Deere, the man, was at the company, is drawn by hand and pinned to the maquette.

I didn’t realize that the display behind glass, that’s over 100 feet long, was art. I thought it was like a museum display. And, because of Luann Udell’s post on museum mounts, the mechanisms of display caught my eye.

You can read her post here:
http://luannudell.wordpress.com/tag/museum-display

The museum mounts, or thingies that hold up the artifacts, are supposed to be invisible, but Luanne’s post brought them to my attention, and now I see them.

Read more, and see better pictures, of the work by Girard, here:
http://observatory.designobserver.com/entry.html?entry=15648

One more picture from John Deere. Of all the wonderful art and impressive tractors, modern and antique, the one that I loved the most was this toy, from about 1912:

1912 Toy John Deere Tractor

It says it was designed to be pulled by a dog or goat! Which made me think that kids on the farm back then might have been able to use them to do some actual work! (I wish today’s toy vacuum cleaners and such actually worked, instead of just making lots of noise.)

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