The Bauhaus, founded in 1919 by German Architect, Walter Gropius, sought to reimagine the material world to reflect the unity of all the arts. The Proclamation of Bauhaus describes a utopian craft guild that combines sculpture, painting, and architecture. Bauhaus work was always supposed to be beautiful - but also functional.
Introductory classes at the Bauhaus focused on color theory, and the study of materials. Some of the more well known teachers of this introductory course were Paul Klee, and Josef Albers. Once a student had completed their introduction into Bauhaus theory, they choose their specialization; metalworking, cabinetmaking, weaving, pottery, or typography.
The Bauhaus textile workshop trained and fostered some of the most prominent textile artists and designers of the 20th century.
Gunta Stölzl taught in the textile workshop, and often encouraged her students to experiment with unusual materials - such as cellophane, metal, and fiberglass.
The textile workshop weavings brought a needed source of revenue to the school. Comprising of mostly female students - they were discouraged from studying other mediums - the workshop flourished under Stölzl's direction.
One of the more famous artists to be trained at the Bauhaus was Anni Albers.
Originally Albers wanted to join the glass workshop alongside her future husband, Josef, but she was barred from that discipline by the school. She reluctantly turned to weaving as an alternative. With Stölzl's guidance, Albers became engaged by the tactile nature of textiles, and the challenges in construction.
In 1926 the school moved to Dessau, Germany and the focus shifted from fine craft to production. Albers experimented with functional textiles, focusing on sound absorption, durability, and light reflection.
Albers became the head of the textile workshop in 1931. The school closed in 1933 under pressure from the Nazi party, both Josef and Anni Albers taught at Black Mountain College in North Carolina from 1933 until 1949. In 1949, Anni Albers became the first designer to have a solo show at the MoMA.
Before the holidays the studio took an overnight field trip to Rhode Island to participate in a workshop hosted by my dear friend, Jan Baker. Thank you to Jan for the workshop and company, and thank you to Monique for the lovely accommodations!