Themed Book Lists

15 Books on the Bauhaus

November 5, 2013

A selected list of guides to to the Bauhaus school, founded in 1919 in Weimar, Germany (moving to Dessau in 1925) by architect Walter Gropius, and highlights of some of its major figures. Many major 20th-century designers and artists—among them, Josef Albers, Herbert Bayer, Marcel Breuer, Paul Klee, László Moholy-Nagy, and Mies van der Rohe—were associated with the Bauhaus.

1
50 Bauhaus Icons You Should Know Josef Strasser

From the Publisher. The fifty design masterpieces presented here in chronological order represent the most compelling and intriguing designs of the Bauhaus movement. Includes works by Kandinsky, Klee, Albers and Moholy-Nagy, plus, many more.

2
The ABC’s of Bauhaus: The Bauhaus and Design Theory Ellen Lupton
J. Abbott Miller

Published to accompany an exhibition held at the Herb Lubalin Study Center of Design and Typography, Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, April 8–May 11, 1991. The essays included trace the origins and impact of the Bauhaus, addressing modernist design theory in relation to the 19th-century kindergarten movement, and Bauhaus graphic design in relation to the ideal of a universal “language” of vision. Additional essays address psychoanalysis, fractal geometry, and Weimar culture.

3
Architecture and Politics in Germany: 1918-1945 Barbara Miller Lane

From the Publisher. In the spring of 1933, the Nazi government began its campaign to eliminate "modern" tendencies in German art—with particular emphasis on architecture—and to eradicate what it chose to call "art bolshevism." The Bauhaus, by then an internationally famous center of avant garde design, was shut down.

In a close analysis of intellectual, political, social, and economic developments, Lane shows that Nazi views on architecture were generated by a complex of historical factors. Far from being cohesive, Nazi cultural policy was largely the product of the conflicting ideas about art held by the Nazi leaders and their efforts to advance these ideas during internal power struggles.

4
Art and Politics in the Weimar Period John Willett

From the Publisher. The period between the end of World War I and Hitler's ascension to power witnessed an unprecedented cultural explosion that embraced the whole of Europe but was, above all, centered in Germany. Germany housed architect Walter Gropius and the Bauhaus movement; playwrights Bertolt Brecht and Erwin Piscator; artists Hans Richter, George Grosz, John Heartfield, and Hannah Hoch; composers Paul Hindemith, Arnold Schonberg, and Kurt Weill; and dozens of others. In Art and Politics in the Weimar Period, John Willett provides a brilliant explanation of the aesthetic and political currents which made Germany the focal point of a new, down-to-earth, socially committed cultural movement that drew a significant measure of inspiration from revolutionary Russia, left-wing social thought, American technology, and the devastating experience of war.

5
Bauhaus 1919-1928 Editor
Walter Gropius Editor
Ise Gropius Editor

Museum of Modern Art monograph devoted to the influence of the Weimar and Dessau Bauhaus under the directorship of Walter Gropius. From the book. "The book is a point-for-point record of actual programs and projects at the Bauhaus, prepared by Herbert Bayer under the general editorship of Walter Gropius and with the collaboration of a dozen other Bauhaus teachers—including Kandinsky, Klee, Feininger, Schlemmer, Itten, Moholy-Nagy, Albers, and Breuer. Rather than a retrospective history, here is a collection of photographs, articles, and notes prepared on the field of action."

6
Bauhaus 1919–1933 Barry Bergdoll
Leah Dickerman

From the Publisher. Published to accompany a major multimedia exhibition, Bauhaus 1919-1933 is The Museum of Modern Art’s first comprehensive treatment of the subject since its famous Bauhaus exhibition of 1938. It offers a new generational perspective on the twentieth century’s most influential experiment in artistic education, and examines the extraordinarily broad spectrum of the school’s products. Many of the objects discussed and illustrated here have rarely if ever been seen outside of Germany.

Featuring approximately 400 full-color plates richly complemented by a range of documentary images, Bauhaus 1919–1933 includes two overarching essays by the exhibition’s curators, Barry Bergdoll and Leah Dickerman; shorter object-specific essays by more than twenty leading scholars; and an illustrated, narrative chronology that provides a dynamic glimpse of the Bauhaus’s lived history.

7
Bauhaus: Drucksachen, Typografie, Reklame Gerd Fleischmann

The most comprehensive collection of Bauhaus graphic and typographic design ever assembled. Features many rare and unusual examples from Weimar, Dessau, Berlin and Chicago, including books, newspapers, postcards, posters, letterhead, and more.

8
Bauhaus: Weimar, Dessau, Berlin, Chicago Hans Wingler

From the Publisher. Bauhaus has established itself with designers and architects as a standard work and the most comprehensive collection of documents and pictoral material ever published on this famous school of design. Documents in Bauhaus are taken from a wide array of sources—public manifestos, private letters, internal memoranda, jotted-down conversations, minutes of board and faculty meetigs, sketches and schemata, excerpts from speeches and books, newspaper and magazine articles, Nazi Polemics, official German government documents, court proceedings, budgets, and curricula. The illustrations include architectural plans and realizations, craft and industrial model designs (furniture, ceramics, metalwork, textiles, stained glass, typography, wallpaper), sculpture, paintings, drawings, etchings, woodcuts, posters, programs, advertising brochures, stage settings, and formal portraits of such Bauhaus Masters as Walter Gropius, Lyonel Feininger, Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, Josef Albers, Hebert Bayer, Marcel Breuer, and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe.

9
Cape Cod Modern Peter McMahon
Christine Cipriani
Photographs by Raimund Koch
Foreword by Kenneth Frampton

From the Publisher. In the summer of 1937, Walter Gropius, founder of the Bauhaus and a professor at Harvard's new Graduate School of Design, rented a house on Planting Island, near the base of Cape Cod. There, he and his wife, Ise, hosted a festive reunion of Bauhaus masters and students who had recently emigrated from Europe: Marcel Breuer, Herbert Bayer, László Moholy-Nagy, Xanti Schawinsky and others. Together they feasted, swam and planned their futures on a new continent, all sensing they were on the cusp of a momentous new phase in their lives. Yet even as they moved on, the group never lost its connection to the Cape Cod coast. Several members returned, when they had the means, to travel farther up the peninsula, rent cabins, buy land and design their ideal summer homes. Thus began a chapter in the history of modern architecture that has never been told--until now. The flow of talent onto the Outer Cape continued and, within a few years, the area was a hotbed of intellectual currents from New York, Boston, Cambridge and the country's top schools of architecture and design. Avant-garde homes began to appear in the woods and on the dunes; by the 1970s, there were about 100 modern houses of interest here. In this story, we meet, among others, the Boston Brahmins Jack Phillips and Nathaniel Saltonstall; the self-taught architect, carpenter and painter Jack Hall; the Finn Olav Hammarström, who had worked for Alvar Aalto; and the prolific Charlie Zehnder, who brought the lessons of both Frank Lloyd Wright and Brutalism to the Cape. Initially, these designers had no clients; they built for themselves and their families, or for friends sympathetic to their ideals. Their homes were laboratories, places to work through ideas without spending much money. The result of this ferment is a body of work unlike any other, a regional modernism fusing the building traditions of Cape Cod fishing towns with Bauhaus concepts and postwar experimentation.

10
Carl Aubock: The Workshop Kois Clemens Editor

From the Publisher. The Werkstätte (Workshop) Carl Auböck was founded in the 19th century—one of many workshops in Vienna specializing in bronze-casting. However, Carl Auböck II (1900-1957) was one of the very few Viennese students who attended the Bauhaus in post-World War I Weimar, and when he returned to the Workshop he brought inspiration from this new design movement. Expert craftsmanship and superior quality materials such as hand-sewn leather, polished bronze, and various woods became the signature of the Bauhaus-inspired Auböck Workshop and many of their whimsical, modernist designs stand out as prescient objets d'art.

Carrying on generations of the Workshop tradition, son Carl Auböck III (1924-1993) and grandson Carl Auböck IV (born 1954) were instrumental in forging ahead with new ideas and designs while preserving the quality craftsmanship and integrity of the Workshop which today remains among the last of its kind. Despite designing over 6,000 original objects and pieces of furniture in the early to mid-20th century, Auböck somehow has eluded the spotlight and the Workshop's products remain cult objects of desire, cherished quietly by design greats and savvy collectors. More incredibly, only one quarter of the Workshop's designs have been documented, leaving an astounding 4,000 objects yet to be "discovered."

Carl Auböck: The Workshop documents hundreds of signature Workshop objects culled from exclusive private collections, and brings us into the Workshop itself with contemporary photographs, interviews with Carl Auböck IV, and historical documents and photographs depicting the Workshop's historic legacy.

11
The Bauhaus Group: Six Masters of Modernism Nicholas Fox Weber

From the Publisher. Nicholas Fox Weber, for thirty-four years head of the Albers Foundation, spent many years with Anni and Josef Albers, the only husband-and-wife artistic pair at the Bauhaus (she was a textile artist; he was a professor and an artist, in glass, metal, wood, and photography). The Alberses told him their own stories and described life at the Bauhaus with their fellow artists and teachers, Walter Gropius, Paul Klee, Wassily Kandinsky, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, as well as with these figures' lesser-known wives and girlfriends.  

In this extraordinary group biography, Weber brilliantly brings to life the pioneering art school in Germany's Weimar and Dessau in the 1920s and early 1930s, and captures the spirit and flair with which these Bauhaus geniuses lived, as well as their consuming goal of making art and architecture.  

Nicholas Fox Weber is the director of the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation and author of numerous books, including Patron Saints: Five Rebels Who Opened America to a New Art, 1928-1943; Le Corbusier: A Life; and Balthus: A Biography. He lives in Bethany, CT.

12
The Bauhaus Reassessed: Sources and Design Theory Gillian Naylor

The author assesses the Bauhaus school’s aims and achievements, looking at the work and theory of Gropius, Klee, Kandinsky, Itten, Schlemmer, Feininger, Albers, Bayer, Stolzl, Moholy-Nagy, and Hannes Meyer.

13
Marianne Brandt Hans Brockhage
Reinhold Lindner
Foreword by Alberto Alessi

Documents the life and work of the Bauhaus artist Marianne Brandt (1893–1983).

14
The New Architecture and the Bauhaus Walter Gropius

Early edition where Gropius attempted to spell out his theories of the new architecture he had incubated and formalized while Director of the Bauhaus in Weimar and Dessau from 1919 to 1928, with dust jacket design by Laszlo Moholy-Nagy.

15
Pioneers of Modern Design: From William Morris to Walter Gropius Nikolaus Pevsner

From the Publisher. One of the most widely read books on modern design, Nikolaus Pevsner’s landmark work today remains as stimulating as it was when first published in 1936. This expanded edition of Pioneers of Modern Design provides Pevsner’s original text along with significant new and updated information, enhancing Pevsner’s illuminating account of the roots of Modernism. The book now offers many beautiful color illustrations; biographies and bibliographies of all major figures; illustrated short essays on key themes, movements, and individuals; a critique of Pevsner’s analysis from today’s perspective; examples of works after 1914 (where the original study ended); a biography detailing Pevsner’s life and achievements; and much more.

Pevsner saw Modernism as a synthesis of three main sources: William Morris and his followers, the work of nineteenth-century engineers, and Art Nouveau. The author considers the role of these sources in the work of early Modernists and looks at such masters of the movement as C.F.A. Voysey and Charles Rennie Mackintosh in Britain, Louis Sullivan and Frank Lloyd Wright in America, and Adolf Loos and Otto Wagner in Vienna. The account concludes with a discussion of the radical break with the past represented by the design work of Walter Gropius and his future Bauhaus colleagues.

16
Walter Gropius e la Bauhaus Carlo Giulio Argan

From the Publisher. A thorough study of the work of Walter Gropius (1883–1969), within the context of the architectural history of the last century and as a decisive piece of modern culture.

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