May 07, 2009

André Bindler, Musée de la Doller/The Doller Museum

the musée de la Doller in 1981
this picture and the next two courtesy of Marc Grodwohl

Life and works

André Bindler (1922-2011) at age fourteen went to work in the textile industry in the Alsace area of north-western France. He had to leave this job in 1979, because of the effects of a physical injury he received during WW II.

He did not like to be iactive and began making sculptures of animals, which he displayed in the garden around his house in Sickert a small community in the Alsace area in France.

animals in the "jardin de paradis", as shown in the Ecomusee

Around 1983 Bindler began making replicas of famous Parisian buildings.

The story is that he had seen an article in a newspaper about someone who had constructed the Eiffel Tower by gluing matches together. So André Bindler also made an Eiffel Tower, not from matches, but from wood and iron. He continued with a replica of the Notre Dame basilica, just using a postcard as an example. And he also copied the Arc de Triomphe.

In later years he made sculptures of famous persons and replicas of chapels in the area of the Doller river. All creations were exposed in and around his place of living.

famous persons (grands hommes) on show in the Ecomusée

Passers-bye were invited to visit the site by means of a sign that directed them to his Musée de la Doller.

Around 1989, after so many years of making creations, Bindler no longer had the energy to continue this activity.

Works moved to the Alsace ecomuseum

The future of the environment would have become uncertain, if not in 1991 the sign Musée had been noted by Marc Grodwohl, at that time director of the Ecomusée d'Alsace (opened 1984). Around 1990 this museum focussed upon saving socio-cultural and industrial ethnografics from the area, that were threatened with decay, by adding them to the museum´s collection.

"le Bartholdi de pauvre",
(statue of liberty?)
picture courtesy of pierrepaul43 (Flickr, april 2010)

Volunteeers of the museum, advised by Bindler, have spent years in installing and if necessary restoring the collection.

Bindler passed away in 2011. His creations currently are still extant at the museum.

* Marc Grodwohl describes on his website the transferal of Bindler's art environment to the Écomusée
* More pictures on the Facebookpage Outsider Art Environments Europe (may 2014), on the Art Insolite website, the elf2manie weblog and the dansmabonjotte weblog
* A video (3'36") by regional TV with Bindler being interviewed, published febr 2014, but obviously shot many years earlier

Andre Bindler
Musée de la Doller
Sickert, dept Haut-Rhin, region Grand Est, France
no longer extant, most creations currently in:
Ecomusée d´Alsace
Ungersheim dept Haut-Rhin, region Grand Est, France

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