Scope and Content of Collection
Title: Bauhaus student work
Date (inclusive): 1919-1933
7 Linear Feet
(14 boxes, 11 flat file folders)
The Getty Research Institute
1200 Getty Center Drive, Suite 1100
Los Angeles 90049-1688
A comprehensive collection of
photographs, records, notebooks, drawings, prints, manuscripts, and other materials
documenting student coursework, assignments, projects, and activities at the Bauhaus (ca.
1919-1933). Includes some work by Bauhaus professors.
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Language: Collection material is in
The Bauhaus was founded in 1919 by the architect Walter Gropius as a school of art,
architecture, crafts, and theater, with the focus of instruction on the unity of art and
technology. Gropius led the Bauhaus until 1928, when he named Hannes Meyer as his successor.
Mies van der Rohe replaced Meyer in 1930. The Bauhaus began in Weimar, moved to Dessau in
1925, and closed in 1932. Attempts to revive the school were made in Berlin in 1933 and
Chicago in 1937.
The mission of the Bauhaus was to provide courses in the combined constructive arts and
crafts. Gropius' goal was to bridge the divide between fine and applied arts, and he
envisioned the Bauhaus as a fulfillment of his ideal of a medieval craft guild, where
artists and craftsmen worked in unison. Workshops were offered in carpentry, weaving,
pottery, and glass-, wall-, and stage painting. Students, known as apprentices or
journeymen, were enrolled in specific workshops, which were originally taught by pairs of
professors: a Formmeister, a teacher of fine arts, and a Werkstattmeister, a craftsman.
After the move to Dessau, the Werkstattmeister became subordinate to the Formmeister, and
later workshops were taught by only one professor. Several students continued on at the
Bauhaus as professors or workshop masters, including Gunta Stölzl, Margarete Willers, Otti
Berger, Josef Albers, Marcel Breuer, Herbert Bayer, and Joost Schmidt. Every student was
required to take the Grundkurs, which was directed by Johannes Itten, assisted by Paul Klee
and Wassily Kandinsky from 1919 to 1923, and later led by Laszlo Moholy-Nagy (1923-1928),
and Josef Albers (1928-1932).
The watershed event of the Weimar years was the "Bauhaus Week" held in August, 1923.
Exhibits were presented, as well as stagings of Oskar Schlemmers' "Triadic Ballet." Gropius'
opening address," Art and Technology - an new unity," announced a change in Bauhaus ideology
from the fusion of art and craft to art and industry.
After the move to Dessau, workshops for stained glass and pottery were ended, cabinetmaking
and metal were combined into one workshop, and Kandinsky began a "free painting" workshop.
The Dessau buildings, designed by Gropius and built 1925-1926, became a manifestation for
many of Bauhaus philosophy, teaching and design.
Gropius' successor Hannes Meyer expanded upon his vision of forming closer alliances
between the art and industry. Bauhaus weavers designed carpets which were mass-produced by
manufacturers, and Bauhaus artists had their wallpaper designs sold in department stores.
These efforts enriched the school and allowed them to accept more underprivileged students.
Meyer also established a department of architecture and introduced photography to the
curriculum. Painting was not encouraged, and Schlemmer left the Bauhaus in 1929 and Klee
departed in 1931. Many of the faculty members and students resisted Meyer's rationalism and
Marxism, and Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, Marcel Breuer and Herbert Bayer resigned in 1928 in protest
over his appointment.
In 1930, a coup against Meyer replaced him with Mies van der Rohe. Mies introduced more
discipline to the workshops, and the Bauhaus developed into a fairly conventional school of
architecture. The metal/cabinetmaking workshop and wall painting workshop were merged into a
singular interior design workshop. Nazi pressure on the school increased after the National
Socialists gained control of the Dessau parliament, and the school closed at the end of
1932. Mies van der Rohe attempted to revive the school in 1933, but the incarnation was
short-lived. Many Bauhaus professors, including Josef Albers, Marcel Breuer, and Mies van
der Rohe, moved to America.
Open for use by qualified researchers.
Bauhaus student work, 1919-1933, The Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles, Accession no.
The Bauhaus student work collection was assembled from several acquisitions acquired
between 1984 and 1990. Items were moved from: Special Collections accession nos. 840009;
840052; 840053; 850024; 850138-850142; 850171; 850926; 860337; 860973A; 870213; 870381;
870383; 870581; 870649; 880104; 880220; 880404; 900010.
Preliminary processing was completed by April, 1995. Hillary Brown processed, rearranged
and described this collection in 1997. She wrote this finding aid in May 1997.
Material was moved to the following collections within Special Collections: Schmidt, accn.
no. 880383A; Stölzl, accn. no. 880373B; Moholy-Nagy, accn. no. 890013; Schwitters accn. no.
890014; Schreyer, accn. no. 900046; Itten, accn. no. 900047; Meyer, accn. no. 900048;
Breuer, accn. no. 900049; Gropius, accn. no. 900058; Hözel, accn. no. 900070; Hubsch, accn.
no. 900078; Bauhaus photography, accn. no. 900079.
Scope and Content of Collection
A comprehensive assembled collection representing the variety of assignments given to
students at the Bauhaus in Weimar (1919-1925), Dessau (1925-1932), and Berlin (1932-1933).
The collection includes designs by students, photographs of artworks and activities, and
This collection contains a few works by professors as well as notebooks kept by students of
their courses. There are very few personal items in this collection.
Media in the collection include drawings (pencil, pen and ink, watercolor, charcoal, etc.),
photographs, glass negatives, printed matter, holograph and typescript manuscripts,
blueprints, and textile samples.
The papers are organized in 12 series according to the workshop for which the items were
Series I. Preliminary
course, 1919-1931, n.d.;
Series II. Woodworking,
Series III. Cabinetmaking,
Series IV. Metal, 1925-1927,
Series V. Ceramics, 1922-1923,
Series VI. Weaving, 1922-1930,
Series VII. Printing and typography,
Series VIII. Theater, 1926-1930,
Series IX. Drawing, 1922-1930,
Series X. Painting, n.d.;
Series XI. Photography, 1922-1923,
Series XII. Architecture, 1925-1933,
Subjects - Names
Subjects - Corporate Bodies
Subjects - Topics
Art, German -- 20th century
Art schools -- Germany
Architecture-Study and teaching
Architecture -- Germany -- 20th century
Art -- Study and teaching
Color in art
Drawing, German -- 20th century
Genres and Forms of Material
Glass negatives -- 20th century
Photographic prints -- 20th century
Architectural drawings -- 20th century
Drawings (visual works) -- 20th century
Mies van der Rohe,
Kampt, K. H.
Haupt, Karl Hermann
Hartogh, Rudolf Franz