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Article

German, 20th century, male.

Born 1898, in Elbing (now Elblag, Poland).

Painter, architect.

Alfred Arndt was mainly active at the Bauhaus, where he studied architecture and mural painting before becoming a teacher of interior design in 1929. He lost his construction rights in 1933 during the Third Reich, but was later appointed architect of public works in Jena in ...

Article

German, 20th century, male.

Born 1900, in Neuss.

Potter.

Barthelmess was a student at the Bauhaus from 1920 to 1923 and he subsequently ran a pottery studio there. From 1927 he worked as an architectural ceramicist and potter in Düsseldorf where he taught at the Academy from ...

Article

Bauhaus  

Rainer K. Wick

[Bauhaus Berlin; Bauhaus Dessau, Hochschule für Gestaltung; Staatliches Bauhaus in Weimar]

German school of art, design and architecture, founded by Walter Gropius. It was active in Weimar from 1919 to 1925, in Dessau from 1925 to 1932 and in Berlin from 1932 to 1933, when it was closed down by the Nazi authorities. The Bauhaus’s name referred to the medieval Bauhütten or masons’ lodges. The school re-established workshop training, as opposed to impractical academic studio education. Its contribution to the development of Functionalism in architecture was widely influential. It exemplified the contemporary desire to form unified academies incorporating art colleges, colleges of arts and crafts and schools of architecture, thus promoting a closer cooperation between the practice of ‘fine’ and ‘applied’ art and architecture. The origins of the school lay in attempts in the 19th and early 20th centuries to re-establish the bond between artistic creativity and manufacturing that had been broken by the Industrial Revolution. According to Walter Gropius in ...

Article

Kathleen James-Chakraborty

After the closure in 1933 of the Bauhaus in Berlin, its staff and students dispersed. Many found their way to the USA, where they became highly influential teachers as well as artists and architects. The pedagogical methods developed at the school, particularly in the preliminary course, became commonplace in all levels of art education, as the former centrality in America of life drawing to instruction in the visual arts was now challenged by experimentation with abstract principles of composition and the qualities of individual materials.

Josef and Anni Albers family were the first Bauhäusler to immigrate to the USA. They arrived in 1933 and quickly took up positions at Black Mountain College, NC. In 1950 Josef became chair of the department of design at Yale University, New Haven, CT, from which he retired in 1958. His increasingly rigorous investigations into geometry and colour culminated in a series of paintings entitled ...

Article

Monica Bohm-Duchen

(b Haag, Austria, April 5, 1900; d Santa Barbara, CA, Sept 30, 1985).

American painter, designer, photographer and typographer, of Austrian birth. After serving in the Austrian army (1917–18), Bayer studied architecture under Professor Schmidthammer in Linz in 1919 and in 1920 worked with the architect Emanuel Margold in Darmstadt. From 1921 to 1923 he attended the Bauhaus in Weimar, studying mural painting (with Vasily Kandinsky) and typography; it was at this time that he created the Universal alphabet, consisting only of lowercase letters. In 1925 he returned to the Bauhaus, then in Dessau, as a teacher of advertising, layout and typography, remaining there until 1928. For the next ten years he was based in Berlin as a commercial artist: he worked as art manager of Vogue (1929–30) and as director of the Dorland advertising agency. Shortly after his first one-man exhibitions at the Galerie Povolotski, Paris, and at the Kunstlerbund März, Linz (both 1929), he created photomontages of a Surrealist nature, such as ...

Article

German, 20th century, male.

Active in Constance.

Born 1907, in Gelsenkirchen.

Architect.

Hermann Blomeier followed courses under Kandinsky and Klee at the Bauhaus from 1930 to 1932.

Article

German, 20th century, male.

Born 1897, in Hofgeismars; died 1968, at the abbey of Maria-Laach.

Draughtsman.

Theodor Bogler studied architecture and art history in Munich after World Was I, then spent time at the Bauhaus from 1919-1925. He went on to direct the arts and crafts department of a sandstone factory near Berlin. He took holy orders at the Maria Laach abbey in ...

Article

Anna Rowland

(Lajos)

(b Pécs, May 21, 1902; d New York, July 1, 1981).

American furniture designer and architect of Hungarian birth. In 1920 he took up a scholarship at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste, Vienna, but he left almost immediately to find a job in an architect’s office. A few weeks later he enrolled at the Bauhaus at Weimar on the recommendation of the Hungarian architect Fred Forbat (1897–1972). Breuer soon became an outstanding student in the carpentry workshop, which he led in its endeavours to find radically innovative forms for modern furniture. In practice, this meant rejecting traditional forms, which were considered symbolic of bourgeois life. The results of these experiments were initially as idiosyncratic as those of other workshops at Weimar, including the adoption of non-Western forms, for example the African chair (1921; see Rowland, 1990, p. 66) and an aggressively castellated style inspired by Constructivism.

Breuer was impressed by De Stijl, whose founder Theo van Doesburg made his presence felt in Weimar in ...

Article

Alexander Koutamanis

[Despo, Jan]

(b Chios, Jan 7, 1903; d Oct 1, 1992).

Greek architect, teacher and writer. He studied under Hannes Meyer at the Bauhaus, Weimar (1924–5), and at the Königliche Technische Hochschule, Hannover (1928), and worked for Erich Mendelsohn in Berlin. In the 1930s he was a major figure in Greek architecture, being the only architect to relate Modernism to socio-economic structures and to socialist views. In 1932 he was co-founder of the Greek group of CIAM. His pre-war buildings include three sanatoria: Sotiria (1934) in Holargos, Attica, one (1936–40) in Tripolis, Peloponnese, and one (1937–40) in Asvestochori, near Thessaloniki; these were the first buildings of this type in Greece to show the influence of Modernism. From 1942 to 1946 and 1961 to 1966 he was Professor of Architectural Composition at the National Technical University, Athens, the intervening years being spent in Sweden, where he taught at various universities. In 1959...

Article

Peter Blundell Jones

Term applied to architecture in which the form of a building is derived from the function it is intended to fulfil. As employed by such historians as Nikolaus Pevsner and Siegfried Giedion, the term became generally identified with early 20th-century Modernism, for, like many of their architect contemporaries, they used it in justifying that style. It would, however, be hard to substantiate the claim that modern architecture is truly more functional than that of many other periods, particularly as it was impregnated with aesthetic and social concerns that sometimes conflicted directly with the requirements of use.

Even in the realm of theory modernists cannot claim any monopoly on functionalist ideas: A. W. N. Pugin claimed in his True Principles of Pointed or Christian Architecture (1841) that ‘there should be no features about a building which are not necessary for construction, convenience or propriety’, defining propriety as the appropriate reflection of the internal arrangements in the exterior. Even though he applied them to Gothic examples, he drew his ideas from the French Neo-classical tradition, while the French reiterated theories borrowed from the Italian Renaissance. Thus functionalist ideas can be found in ...

Article

American, 20th century, female.

Born 31 March 1911, in Madison (Wisconsin).

Sculptor, collage artist.

Marie Zoë Greene-Mercier studied at the New Bauhaus, founded in Chicago by Moholy-Nagy and Archipenko after their exile. The architectural quality of her abstract sculptures and her taste for group creations, as well as the way she incorporated her personal work in built ensembles, undoubtedly had their roots in her Bauhaus training. She also made collages, drawings and reliefs, sometimes published in multiples. She took part in a large number of group exhibitions from ...

Article

Gilbert Herbert

(Adolf Georg)

(b Berlin, May 18, 1883; d Boston, MA, July 5, 1969).

American architect, industrial designer and teacher of German birth. He was one of the most influential figures in the development of the Modern Movement, whose contribution lay as much in his work as theoretician and teacher as it did in his innovative architecture. The important buildings and projects in Gropius’s career—the early factories, the Bauhaus complex at Dessau (1925–6), the Totaltheater project for Berlin, the housing estates and prefabricated dwellings—were all more than immediate answers to specific problems. Rather, they were a series of researches in which he sought prototypical solutions that would offer universal applicability. They were also didactic in purpose—concrete demonstrations, manifestos, of his theories and beliefs. His theories sought to integrate the individual and society, art and industry, form and function and the part with the whole. He left Germany for England in 1934; three years later he emigrated to the USA, where he continued to teach, write and design for the rest of his life....

Article

Daniela De Dominicis

(b Rome, Jan 28, 1935; d Marseille, Sept 21, 1963).

Italian painter, sculptor and urban planner. In 1955 he obtained his diploma at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Rome and began studying architecture, heavily influenced by Walter Gropius, the Bauhaus and De Stijl. He started work as an industrial designer in 1958. He also began to execute works devoted to the study of the dynamic qualities of light in space, which some people have seen as a forerunner of conceptual art and Minimalism. Lo Savio’s first monochrome paintings, based on the study of chromatic transparency, date from 1959 (e.g. Space-Light, Leverkusen, Schloss Morsbroich) as do his Filters series, which comprised layers of opaque and semi-transparent paper squares and circles. Works of this sort were shown in the same year in a group exhibition with Franco Angeli, Tano Festa, Mario Schifano (b 1934) and Giuseppe Uncini at the Galleria L’Appunto in Rome, and in 1960 at the Galleria La Salita in Rome with an exhibition catalogue prefaced by the French critic ...

Article

Anna Rowland

(b Basle, Nov 18, 1889; d Savosa, Ticino, July 19, 1954).

Swiss architect, theorist and designer. He was born into a family of architects and studied building at the Gewerbeschule, Basle (1905–9). In Berlin he continued his training at the Kunstgewerbeschule and attended classes in urban planning at the Landwirtschafts-Akademie (1909–12). He became increasingly concerned about housing conditions in the modern industrial city and developed a strong interest in urban planning and land reform. In 1912 he went to England where he studied the Co-operative movement and the garden cities of Letchworth, Bourneville and Port Sunlight for a year. After two years’ military service in Switzerland (1914–16), he worked for Krupps Housing Welfare Office and became increasingly interested in using standardized components in the construction of housing estates. In 1919 he set up his own practice in Basle, where he designed and supervised the foundation of the Siedlung Freidorf (Freihof) (1919–24) at Muttenz, near Basle, the first full-scale cooperative housing estate in Switzerland. The client (Verband Schweizerische Konsumvereine) rejected the Constructivist approach that Meyer favoured, so he developed a style based on local Jura building types. In ...

Article

Peter Carter

(b Aachen, March 27, 1886; d Chicago, IL, Aug 17, 1969).

German architect, furniture designer, and teacher, active also in the USA. With Frank Lloyd Wright, Walter Gropius, and Le Corbusier, he was a leading figure in the development of modern architecture. His reputation rests not only on his buildings and projects but also on his rationally based method of architectural education.

He was born Ludwig Mies but later adopted his mother’s name, van der Rohe. The son of a master stone mason, Mies van der Rohe had no formal architectural education. He attended the Domschule in Aachen until 1900 and then the local trade school (1900–02) while working on building sites for his father, from whom he acquired a respect for the nature of building materials. The town’s many fine medieval buildings stimulated a youthful interest in architecture, and their characteristically clear and honest construction exerted a lasting influence upon his creative work. Two years as a draughtsman and designer for a firm specializing in stucco decoration followed, before he left for Berlin in ...

Article

British, 20th century, female.

Also active in Germany and Switzerland.

Born, 18 January 1894, in Prague; died 17 May 1989, in Zurich.

Photographer, author. Portraits, industrial design, architecture.

Bauhaus.

Lucia Moholy developed her straightforward approach to photography at the Bauhaus in Weimar, where she moved with her husband Làszló Moholy-Nagy in ...

Article

German, 20th century, male.

Born 1907, in Leipzig; died 1964, in Berlin.

Painter, designer.

Neidenberger studied scenography at the school of applied arts in Leipzig, and learned mural painting and architectural decoration at the Bauhaus from 1929 to 1932. He was one of the many Bauhaus pupils who was attracted to a career in the applied arts. From ...

Article

Swiss, 20th century, male.

Active in the USA from 1936.

Born 1904, in Basel; died 1979, in Locarno.

Painter. Landscapes. Stage sets.

Xanti Schawinsky trained as an architect before studying at the Bauhaus from 1924 to 1929, following various disciplines (painting, design, photography, graphics and, above all, theatre). He worked as a decorator/set designer in Magdeburg (1929-1933) and in Italy (1933-1936). At the urging of Josef Albers, Schawinsky emigrated to the USA in 1936 and taught painting at Black Mountain College in North Carolina while continuing to hone his own personal style and technique. From 1938 he devoted himself entirely to painting and from 1961 divided his time between the USA and Switzerland, where he painted mountain landscapes and completed his series entitled ...

Article

(b Budapest, Oct 29, 1906; d Budapest, July 8, 1965).

Hungarian architect, critic, urban planner and furniture designer . After graduating in 1929 from the Hungarian Palatine Joseph Technical University, Budapest, he joined the Bauhaus in Dessau, where he worked under Hannes Meyer. Weiner attended the CIAM II Congress (1929), Frankfurt, and, convinced that the architect’s mission was to serve and transform society, he followed Meyer and his group to the USSR in 1931. There, as assistant professor at the Technical University, Moscow, he contributed, with Hans Schmidt and Konrad Püschel, to urban planning projects, in particular the underground railway system, Moscow, and the development of the city of Orsk. Weiner left the USSR in 1933, and, after working in Basle from 1934 to 1936, in 1937–8 he was employed by Grete Schütte-Lihotzky (b 1897) in Paris, designing furniture for children. In 1939 he moved to Chile, where he became a professor of architecture (1946–8) at the University of Santiago. In ...

Article

( Heinrich )

(b Braunsdorf, Jan 11, 1926).

Canadian architect of German birth. He studied at the Staatliche Bauhaus, Weimar (1948), and graduated in engineering and architecture from the Technische Hochschule, University of Karlsruhe, in 1949. He began his career as a designer for the architectural firm of Eiermann & Lindner, Karlsruhe. In 1951 Zeidler emigrated to Canada and worked for Blackwell & Craig of Peterborough, Ontario, becoming a partner in the firm in 1954. He taught modern architectural design at the University of Toronto (1953–5; Adjunct Professor from 1984). He became a naturalized Canadian citizen in 1956. In 1962 Zeidler moved the practice from Peterborough to Toronto, where it evolved as Craig, Zeidler & Strong (1963–75), and later as the Zeidler Partnership/Architects (1975–80). In 1980, when Zeidler joined with new partner Alfred C. Roberts (b 1931), the name was changed again to the Zeidler Roberts Partnership/Architects. Zeidler was best known for designing such megastructures as the McMaster Health Sciences Centre in Hamilton (completed ...