As a part of Vitra’s art collection, the Vitra Design Museum has released a line of Wooden Dolls based on designs the late Alexander Girard produced decades ago.

The Wooden Dolls, which were designed by Girard in 1963 for his house in Santa Fe and made by himself, were inspired by his collection of folk art. At the same time, they testify to his great preoccupation with traditional toys.

The way he painted these sculpturally abstract figures reflected design elements from Central America, Eastern Europe and Italy. Half decorative element, half toy, the wooden dolls were presumably intended for sale in the T&O Shop, but actually never went into production.

We’re looking at Wooden Doll No. 8.

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The wooden figure is packaged within a rectangular box. It feels like the box is made of balsa wood…like those old school glider planes. Inside, the figure is wrapped in paper and covered by shredded paper.

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The Figure

Alexander Girard’s Wooden Doll No. 8 stands 8.25” tall by 2.75” wide by 1.75” deep. The piece is made of solid pinewood and hand painted in various bright colors over a white base.

The series of Wooden Dolls follows documents and originals from the Alexander Girard Archive at the Vitra Design Museum.  Each piece is packaged with an informative brochure that features many photos of Girard’s works.


Our Opinion

For art toy collectors, Alexander Girard could possibly be our patron saint. A famous quote by Girard reads, “Toys represent a microcosm of man’s world and dreams. They exhibit fantasy, imagination, humor and love. They are an invaluable record and expression of man's ingenious unsophisticated imagination.”


While, at first, you probably look at this as a simple wooden piece with a basic paint scheme…it’s folk art history. There are no catchy names like “The Devilnator”. Nope. Just Wooden Doll No. 1 through No. 11. These are exact replicas of Girard’s creations from forty-some odd years ago.

I’m expecting that the high ($160) price tag will definitely put some collectors off. And while the line does have serial numbers, we’re not sure if this is an open edition or if it’s a set run. But you can’t downplay the fact that these are replicas of what can be seen as some of the earliest art/designer toys ever created. And who wouldn’t want a piece of that history?

You can pick one up at the following:

All Modern: $160.00

Wooden Doll No. 8 Grades:

Quality: 8/10
Paint: 8/10
Packaging: 9/10
Durability: 9/10
Hype: 6/10
Fun Factor: 7/10
Value: 7/10

Overall: 8.7/10

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What do you rate this figure?

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