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The Women of the Bauhaus Movement

Bauhaus at 100

2019 marks the 100 anniversary of the Bauhaus movement. Celebrations throughout the workd will focus the School, and it’s leading artists such as Paul Klee, Walter Gropius, Wassily Kandinsky, László Moholy-Nagy, Oskar Schlemmer , all men. But what about the women of the Bauhaus Movement?

Bauhaus School “Open to All”

The Bauhaus School prided itself on the idea that it was open to all. “When it opened, the Bauhaus school declared itself progressive and modern and advocated equality for the sexes, which was rare at the time,” says Evelyn Adams in her short video on the Women of the Bauhaus above. “Value was placed on skill rather than gender. Classes weren’t segregated, and women were free to select whichever subjects they wanted.” (Open Culture}.

This had an understandable appeal, and in the school’s first year more women applied than men. But, “in reality, despite having radical aspirations, the men in charge of the school represented the societal attitudes of the time. If everyone was welcomed as equals, then why did none of the women reach the same level of recognition as Paul Klee or Wassily Kandinsky?” (Evelyn Adams video).

But “Not for You”

For instance consider Gertrud Arndt. As written by TheNew York Times‘ Alice Rawsthorn, ” when she arrived at the Bauhaus school of art and design in 1923 as “a gifted, spirited 20-year-old who had won a scholarship to pay for her studies. Having spent several years working as an apprentice to a firm of architects, she had set her heart on studying architecture was told that there was no architecture course for her to join and was dispatched to the weaving workshop.

Maryanne Brandt “Tea Infuser and Strainer.”

“The situation improved after Gropius succeeded in ousting Johannes Itten Itten in 1923,” writes Rawsthorn, hiring Moholy-Nagy in Itten’s place. “Having ensured that female students were given greater freedom, Moholy encouraged one of them, Marianne Brandt, to join the metal workshop. She was to become one of Germany’s foremost industrial designers during the 1930s,” and her 1924 tea infuser and strainer appears above.

In Recent Years

In recent years, the Bauhaus Archive in Berlin has put on shows to honor female Bauhause artists like Ardnt, textile designer Benita Koch-Otte :

and theater designer, illustrator, and color theorist Lou Scheper-Berkenkamp:

In recent years, Artsy’s Alexxa Gotthardt has the stories of more women of the Bauhaus.

H/T OpenCulture

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