November 19, 2008

Jean Grard, Jardin de sculptures / Sculpture garden

picture (around 2002) by Bernard Dattas, Zon'Art ¹

Life and works

A hard working farmer all his life, Jean Grard (1928-2004) lived in the small community la Barre/Baguer-Pican in Brittany, France.

In 1995, at the age of 67, he got retired. One day, when he had installed a bought wind vane in his garden, he got the idea he could as well make such a construction himself.

He gave it a try and liked the result, so Jean Grard continued his constructive activities, also adding a creative twist to his creations. From wood and scrap material he made all kinds of structures and sculptures such as an Eiffel tower, impersonations of well known people, accordion players, and so on.

picture courtesy of Art Insolite Amis

Jean Grard also liked to make girouette-like constructions with moving parts, as shown in above picture.

His works are characterized by the bright and lively colours he used to paint them. Large creations were displayed in the garden in front of the house. Smaller items were used to decorate the interior walls of the family home. 

picture from the website foutraque
(not available anymore)

Jean Grard has been active in making creations for some nine years. He took his own life in July 2004,

After his widow in September 2004 moved to a home for the elderly, the house was sold.

Works donated to the Lille Art Museum

The various creations have been removed and safely stored with the help of the association l'Abri (Art Brut Rural et Industriel), founded by French theater maker Patricia Allio. The process of removal has been documented on film.

Around 2010 the family donated a large part of Jean Grard's creative legacy to the Lille Art Museum.


In le Grand Logis in the community of Bruz, near Rennes (February/March 2006)  l'Abri arranged an exposition in honor of Jean Grard.

Some documentation
* A diashow on the Animula Vagula weblog
* A book by Patricia Allio (text) and Juliette Dieudonné (photographs), l´Art brut deplacé, Hommage à Jean Grard, Rennes (Ed. Apogée), 2006, -61p.

¹ Zon'art isn't available anymore on the internet; see also OEE-texts

first published November 2008, last revised March 2018

Jean Grard
Jardin de sculptures
la Barre/Baguer-Pican, dept Ille-et-Vilaine, region Brittany, France
the creations have been removed, 
a large number of works have been donated to the
Lille Art Museum


  1. Hello Mr Van Hes. I have known Jean Grard, with the help of Patricia Allio.
    I don't think that the accordeonist is Yvette Horner. Maybe a clown in a circus, I believe.
    Jean Grard has been creating Yvette Horner. But he was putting red hair on her it is on the living model.
    Friendfully yours, Bruno Montpied

  2. Thanks a lot for the comment, mr Montpied. I have corrected the text of the note. When I wrote this one (nov 2008),I never had heard of mrs Yvette Horner, so I rather easily jumped to conclusions. Since then I came along her and her representations many times, so now I know better. Cordialement, Henk van Es