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History on The Bauhaus


Herbert Bayer


Josef Albers


Marianne Brandt


Influence on Today




he Bauhaus was one of the most influential modernist art schools of the 20th century. The intentions of the Bauhaus movement aimed to rejuvenate design for everyday life and create modern beauty. It was to unite artists and craftsmen to make products that raised the standards of design. The beginning of The Bauhaus started when Henri van de Velde, a Belgian Art Nouveau architect, decided to leave his director job at the Weimar Arts Crafts School In Germany to return to Belgium because of World War . The school remained closed during the

war, but after, Walter Gropius, a German architect, was introduced into the picture. He then became the director and renamed the school Das Staatliche Bauhaus, which means State Home for Building. The doors to the new school were officially opened April 12, 1919. Gropius wanted the school to have a new technique in all artistic media. Everything from graphic design, architecture, interior design, fine art, industrial design and typography were to be included. He gathered artists that he know were talented in both art and technology because he wanted to eliminate problems of design within the manufacturing industry.

The curriculum was explained within a wheel diagram with a six-month preliminary course that Johannes Itten suggested. The outer part of the diagram was the six-month preliminary course, or the Vorkurs. This included painting and working with form. The two middle rings were the Formlehre and Werklehre, or the three-year course that also displays the materials that were to be used. One artist, and one master taught this portion of the course. The middle of the wheel is a reference to building constructions and engineering. The Bauhaus soon became a successful school, their phiosphy was,

with the industry.


Every artist should “be trained to work

Johannes Itten was a faculty member of The Bauhaus and was also an expressionist painter and color theorist. Among the rest of the staff were artists such as Paul Klee, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Wassily Kandinsky, Herbert Bayer, Josef Albers, Marianne Brandt, Marcel Bruer and many more.

Top right: The Bauhaus cirriculum that Johannes Itten designed. Bottom Right: An example of a poster done by Herbert Bayer.



auhaus experienced political pressure after 1923 from conservative circles in Thuringian politics. This was trouble because they received funding from the Thuringian state government. It was not long before they cut the school’s funding and soon the Bauhaus was set for closure at the end of March in 1925. Gropius has already been looking for alternate funding and he relocated to Dessau, Germany. Many of the faculty and students relocated in Dessau with the Bauhaus and the building was redesigned in 1926. Students such as Josef Albers, Marcel Breuer, and Herbert Bayer became professors at the school and taught courses from furniture workshop and typography. Herbert Bayer was creating sans-serif fonts that were simple and featured no uppercase letters. Many of his works were seen in posters done

for the school and featured elements like using black with one bright color, different weights and type sizes to show emphasis on the subject. By 1928 many of the leaders of the Bauhaus begin to part ways. Gropius resigned, Albert Bayer along with Joost Schmidt left to pursue Graphic Design in Berlin. The school was taken over by architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, but ran into many complications with the Dessau City Council. After they canceled the Bauhaus faculty contracts in 1932 Ludwig struggled to keep the Bauhaus open in an empty factory in Berlin. Because of the pressure from the Nazis the Bauhaus decided to close its doors for good in August of 1933. The closure led to many of the faculty members to emigrate to America.

Brochure Cover for a series of Bauhaus books. Designed by Laszlo Moholy-Nagy





1900-1985 graphic designer photographer typographer architect

t the young age of nineteen, Herbert Bayer had an apprenticeship with architect George Schmidthamer in Linz Austria. Some of his first typographic works were produced while working with him. In 1921 he enrolled as a student at Bauhaus and was taught by Johannes Itten and Wassily Kandinsky. After completing his final examination in 1925 he then became appointed as the head of the print and advertising workshop, at the Dessau Bauhaus where they also produced the schools own print works. He left the Bauhaus in 1928 to focus on his own artwork in Berlin where he worked as a graphic designer for the advertising agency called, Studio Dorland. While living in Berlin he produced many works, from painting, to photography, and even became the art director of Vogue magazine in Paris. In 1938, Bayer finally immigrated to the US where he put together an exhibition called Bauhaus 1919-1928 at the New York Museum of Modern Art. Herbert Bayer spent his last few years moving to Colorado working for different companies and institutions, but it wasn’t until 1974 when he moved to Montecito, California and passed away at the age of 85 in 1985. Herbert Bayer left behind many works that are still admired and still plays a big inspiration to the world of Graphic Design that we know today.

Top left: Poster Designed by Herbert Bayer. Right: Lonely Metropolitan, Herbert Bayer. Photomontage. 1932.



Josef Albers Albers 1888-1976 printmaker designer sculptor painter

tarting off working as a printmaker, Josef Albers was an abstract painter who joined the Bauhaus family around 1920. He was chosen to be a maker of stained glass by approaching it as a component of architecture and art form that could stand-alone. A few years later Walter Gropius asked if he could teach a course called Werklehre that introduced newcomers to the principles of handicrafts. Gropius felt that Albers would do a good job at this profession because he had the right practice and knowledge for it. After he was promoted to be a professor, and the school moved to Dessau, he married a student from the school, Anni Albers. When the school closed down, most of the Bauhaus artists immigrated to the United States like Albers. He received many jobs at universities, including one at Yale where he helped expend the graphic design program by hiring the best of the best, such as Herbert Matter and Alvin Eisenman. Josef Albers continued working on his paintings and writings with his wife, who was a textile artist, until his passing in 1976. Throughout his career he became very familiar with different mediums such as photography, design, typography, printmaking, poetry, but is mostly remembered for his abstract paintings and for being a color theorist.

Top Right: Set of four nesting tables. 1927. Bottom Left: Interaction of Color. Silkscreen.


Homage to The Square. Oil on canvas. Date unknown.

Homage to The Square. Oil on canvas. Date unknown.






photographer designer sculptor painter

arianne Brandt was a painter and sculptor who enrolled in Bauhaus in 1924 at the age of 31, she entered the metal workshop and was soon recognized for her talent. During her time at The Bauhaus she produced many designs that are considered iconic, such as her teapot and sieve. Along with her teapots she designed many lamps that ranged from hanging ceiling lamps, to the Kandem table lamp. In 1929 she left the Bauhaus to work in Gropius’s architectural office in Berlin, she soon became a designer for a metal ware manufacturer in Gotha for, Ruppelwerk GmbH. Marianne Brandt was very successful but sadly never established herself as a self-employed industrial designer. She also worked on collages during her time at the Bauhaus. Brandt is to be remembered through her works and also because she was one of the first accepted as a female metal smith at Bauhaus and an avant-garde artist who helped unite technology and crafts.

Top Left: Tabe Clock. Painted and chrome-plated metal. 1930. Bottom Right: Photomontage from the collection: Tempo Tempo: The Bauhaus Photomontages of Marianne Brandt.


Coffee and Tea Set. Silver and ebony, lid of sugar bowl made of glass. 1924.

Detail of Napkin Holder for Ruppelwerk. 1930.


The Influence of Bauhaus Today Despite everything Gropius went through with the Bauhaus the effects are still affecting the way we see the world today. It has influenced architecture and art throughout Western Europe, the United States, Canada, and even in Israel. Today, we can also see the impact it has had on modern furniture design. From tables, to lamps, to teapots, the artists that came out of the Bauhaus are still inspiring all kinds of designers around the world. You could say that Gropius was successful in unifying art, craft, and technology in order to produce quality products that change the way we live our lives today.


Colophon This catalog was created in InDesign. All images used were altered in Photoshop. The font used for all text was Avenir Book, titles in RBNo2 Light Alternative. It was printed on EPSON 27 pound paper. Catalog designed by: Elisa Lozano.

Bauhaus Catalog