BAUHAUS: From Germany to North Carolina

Today I am happy to introduce two lovely ladies from North and South Carolina in the United States to be guestbloggers. Alessa and Tammie are authors of a very lovely blog “Carolina Heartstrings” – I invite you not only to enjoy this post they kindly wrote for us, but also to go over and explore their blog. You can find great posts of Southern living,  tasty recipes and fantastic pictures.
When Helen of Helz-Design asked us to guest blog I knew I wanted write about something that fit both of our blogs. Hers is on design and Tammie and mine is on the Carolinas. Luckily I quickly found something that I knew I’d be excited to write about and share with both of our audiences: Bauhaus design.

When I was in high school I was introduced to Bauhaus design in an art history class. It was just a brief chapter in a large text book but it captured my attention. The symmetry, efficiency and the beauty in simplicity and functionality was appealing. The blending of art, crafts and architecture was so very modern for its time although architecture was not addressed early on.

Bauhaus means “house of construction” in German and was founded by Walter Gropius, an architect. The school began in Weimar in 1919, moved to Dessau in 1925 and spent its final year in Berlin in 1933 where it closed due to Nazi pressure.

Josef Albers

Enter Josef Albers: our Carolina connection. Born in 1888 in Westphalia, Germany, Josef Albers enrolled at the Bauhaus in 1920. By 1923 at the request of founder Gropius, Albers began teaching design. He became a professor and moved along with the Bauhaus to Dessau in 1925. Fellow teachers included Wassily Kandinsky and Paul Klee. When the Bauhaus closed in 1933 Albers moved to North Carolina.

Black Mountain College

1933. The pivotal year. The Bauhaus closed and Black Mountain College in North Carolina was founded. Josef Albers was hired as the director of the painting program and remained there until 1950 when he left to head the Department of Design at Yale University.

While at Black Mountain College Albers taught and taught with such artists as Robert Rauschenberg and Willem de Kooning. Albers’ interest in design included producing woodcuts and developing his theories on color. In typical Bauhaus manner he was very disciplined in his own personal work and his approach with students. One of his best recognized series of works is “Homage to the Square” which was an exploration of color theory and logic. Each painting is a perfectly formed square within another square.

Black Mountain College closed in 1956 but close by in Asheville, The Black Mountain College Museum and Arts Center continues the vision with their exhibits and events. Click here for more history on the College or here to learn more about the Museum.

Lately Helen has had many posts on color as it pertains to design in her business. Each post includes a pleasant, perfectly formed rectangle. Perhaps I will think of her series as “Homage to the Rectangle”!

Thanks Helen for inviting us to post!

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4 thoughts on “BAUHAUS: From Germany to North Carolina

  1. You discussed a few of my favorites- de Kooning, Klee, and Kandinsky…
    Too bad I’m here in the office and not at home where I can look up and enjoy their thoughts…

    • thanks roy 🙂
      so you have something to look forward after work 🙂
      great subject the carolina heartstrings girls brought up 🙂 love it too

  2. Helen – it has been so much fun getting the opportunity to post on your wonderful site. I hope it sends some new visitors your way from our end. And thank you, too, for the kind introduction. xoxo

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