September 4, 2011 Bauhaus

Exhibit: The Bauhaus in Print

Bauhaus cover

Bauhaus, facsimile reproduction of a periodical published in Dessau by Bauhaus Dessau, 1926-1931, Nendeln, 1976, National Gallery of Art Library, David K. E. Bruce Fund

How did the Bauhaus, which existed for only 15 years, have such an impact on modern design and thinking? The National Gallery of Art¬†explores this question in Publishing Modernism: The Bauhaus in Print, which runs until Oct. 28. The rise of the Nazis and the dispersal of its leaders and students, especially the settling of Walter Gropius and Mies van der Rohe in United States, was one way the school’s philosophy was spread. The other was its publishing arm, which not only highlighted architecture but the schools other disciplines as well.

“This exhibition, drawn from the rare book collection of the National Gallery of Art Library, highlights the works published by the Bauhaus and illustrates how changes in its printing activities reflect the evolution of the school,” the museum says in its description of the exhibit. “From a traditional printing shop focused on artists’ woodcuts, engravings, and lithographs, to a typography workshop that would ultimately serve as part of an advertising department, we see the growth of the school along with its leading role in the advancement of modernism.”

Staatliches Bauhaus

Staatliches Bauhaus Weimar 1919-1923, Weimar; Munich, 1923, National Gallery of Art Library, David K. E. Bruce Fund

Focusing on the works published under the auspices of the school, the exhibition features editions of all 14 of the “Bauhausbucher” (Bauhaus books) as well as exhibition catalogues, press materials and writings by members of the Bauhaus faculty.The exhibition is on view in the East Building, Ground Floor, Study Center, and is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Bauhaus publication Internationale Architektur

Walter Gropius, 1883-1969, Internationale Architektur, Munich, 1925, National Gallery of Art Library, David K. E. Bruce Fund

Just a tidbit to add: Lake Point Tower (1968) in Chicago was designed by proteges of Mies. It was inspired by the design pictured in the Bauhaus publication shown above. The tower, which is the closest residential building to Lake Michigan, was the first skyscraper to feature curving glass.

Lake Point Tower

Lake Point Tower in Chicago.