Meet trailblazers like Marianne Brandt, Gertrud Arndt, and Lucia Moholy in Bauhausmädels—or “Bauhaus girls”, a term that expressed admiration for the young women who bravely eluded traditional gender roles to build a different future. With never-before-seen portraits and biographies, this is a unique celebration of the Bauhaus centennial and a long-overdue tribute to the school’s women artists.
Celebrating the centennial of a groundbreaking School of Art and Design, this volume marks the founding of the Bauhaus with a visual exploration of its most underrated members. While the institution provided women with new opportunities in education, along the way, they were faced with unreasonable family expectations, the ambiguous attitude of the faculty and administration, outdated social conventions, and, ultimately, the political repression of the Nazi regime.
Unprecedented in current literature, Bauhausmädels presents 87 artists and artisans through texts and photographic portraits, many published for the very first time. Recent archival discoveries revive the biographies of better-known talents. In the 1920s, the title “Bauhaus girl” expressed a silent admiration for the young women who courageously eluded traditional gender roles to build a different, creative future. These include Marianne Brandt, the first woman to be admitted to the Bauhaus metalworking program whose designs are used by Alessi to this day; Gertrud Arndt who, dissuaded by the faculty from studying architecture, instead shone through her photography and rug design; and Lucia Moholy, who photographed the Bauhaus buildings in iconic shots, but spent the rest of her life trying to retrieve the negatives which were withheld from her. Moreover, the volume reminds us of other women artists whose names, nearly forgotten, also stand for early pioneers of gender equality, refusing to follow the beaten tracks society and their families insisted on.
With almost 400 portrait photographs taken between 1919 and 1933, Bauhausmädels creates a visual impression of the women artists who attended the most progressive art school of the 20th century and, departing from there, often changed the world of art, architecture, design, and even politics. Biographical data sheds light on each artist’s individual struggle, persistence in the face of adversity, and incredible accomplishments. In this grand family album, we discover a group of unique trailblazers whose legacy paved the way for women artists after them.
Patrick Rössler teaches Communication Science at the University of Erfurt. His main focus is on visual communication from a historical viewpoint, and he has curated several exhibitions on the Bauhaus, including Die neue Linie 1929 – 1943. Das Bauhaus am Kiosk und Herbert Bayer: Die Berliner Jahre – Werbegrafik 1928-1938. To mark Bauhaus Year 2019, he is publishing, among others, Bauhaus Bodies and New Typographies. Bauhaus & Beyond: 100 Years of Functional Graphic Design.