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COLLECTION Identifier: DES-2019-0006-15420111610

Jane F. Thompson Bauhaus Research Archive

Content Description

The Jane F. Thompson Bauhaus Research Archive contains materials spanning over five decades and consists of Jane Thompson's research files (including photographs) related to the Bauhaus and Walter Gropius, in preparation of a monograph that was not completed nor published at the time of her death. Most valuable in this collection are audiotapes of interviews she carried out with many of the Bauhaus masters, most of them never made public. The collection also consists of books, lecture slides (which include photographs), documents and media, such as audio cassettes, CDs and tapes. The documents mainly comprise of notes from interviews with Bauhaus faculty and students, transcripts of those interviews, letters and other correspondence material, newspaper and magazine clippings, and proposals / application material for research grants.


  • 1911 - 2019

Language of Materials

Materials are mostly in English, some files are in German and very few in French.


24 linear feet (24 record storage boxes and 1 oversize folio box.)


Jane Thompson was born on June 30, 1927 and studied Fine and Applied Arts at Vassar College. She completed her graduate work at Bennington College and NYU Institute of Fine Arts. Thompson began her career at the Museum of Modern Art, where she eventually became the Assistant Curator in the Department of Architecture and worked with Philip Johnson. She served as the Architecture Editor of Interiors Magazine, and was the Founding Editor of Industrial Design magazine, later known as I. D. Magazine, published from 1954 - 2009.

Jane Thompson received the Kaufmann International Design Grant by Edgar Kaufmann Jr.’s Foundation and went on to work with Walter Gropius on the pedagogy of Bauhaus. This collection focuses on the research aspect of the Bauhaus project. She also became a partner in her husband Ben Thompson’s retail venture Design Research, and subsequently authored the book ‘Design research: The Store That Brought Modern Living to American Homes’ with Alexandra Lange. As a part of the GSD Talks series ‘Then and Now’, Thompson discussed the book and modern design at the Graduate School of Design in 2014 (

Thompson handled programming and planning in Benjamin Thompson and Associates, Architects and Planners, before establishing her own firm Thompson Design Group in 1994. She has received Institute Honors by the American Institute of Architects in 1994 and a Personal Recognition Award of the Industrial Design Society of America for lifetime contribution to the field of design in 1998. In 2000, the President of Finland named Ben and Jane Thompson as Knight First Class, ‘Order of the Lion of Finland’ for their appreciation of Finnish design. Most significantly, she was conferred upon the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum in 2010. Thompson was also given an Honorary PhD from Boston Architectural College in 2011 and a Lifetime Award of Honor from Boston Society of Architects in 2012. Jane Thompson passed away on August 22, 2016 at the age of 89.


The Jane F. Thompson Bauhaus Research Archive is divided into four main series: Series A – Books, Series B: Slides, Series C: Manuscript, Typescript, and Other Documents, and Series D: Audio and Video Recordings. Series C is further divided into subseries based on the document types.


Gift of Sheila McCullough, 2019

General note

All labels of sub-series and files given under quotation marks are by Jane Thompson.

Processed by

Vaissnavi Shukl and Igor Ekštajn

Jane F. Thompson Bauhaus Archive
A Descriptive Inventory of the Holdings at the Frances Loeb Library
Special Collections, Frances Loeb Library, Harvard University Graduate School of Design
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard (DACS)
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Frances Loeb Library Repository

The archival collections at GSD consist of primary source materials that further academic research in the design fields both within the GSD and beyond Harvard University. These materials, individually and collectively, offer engaging documentation of design history, theory, and practice. For further information, please visit:

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