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COLLECTION Identifier: BRM 3

Collection of Bauhaus Records, 1928-1965

Overview

Typescripts, class notes, newspaper clippings, magazines, and exhibition pamphlets documenting the activities of the Bauhaus in Germany (1928-1933) and the careers of individual Bauhaus artists in the United States and elsewhere after 1933, with a specific focus on the period between 1950 and 1960.

Dates

  • 1928-1965

Conditions on Access

Access: Unrestricted

Conditions on Use

Copyright: Copyright in the papers in the collection may be held by the authors of the documents, or the authors’ heirs or assigns. Researchers must obtain the written permission of the holder(s) of copyright and the Harvard Art Museums Archives before publishing from any material in the collection. Copying: Papers may be copied in accordance with the Harvard Art Museums Archives' usual procedures.

Extent

1 linear feet (2 file boxes)
The history of the Busch-Reisinger Museum’s Bauhaus Records Collection dates back to the late 1940s. Following the Second World War, the Museum launched an initiative to assemble a comprehensive collection devoted to the Bauhaus. Aided by former Bauhaus founder and director, Walter Gropius, who had joined Harvard’s Department of Architecture in 1937, Charles L. Kuhn, Curator of the Busch-Reisinger Museum, began to contact former Bauhaus affiliates and solicit donations of art, design, and archival material.

These materials document the activities of the Bauhaus in Germany (1928-1933), as well as the careers of individual Bauhaus artists in the United States and elsewhere after 1933, with a specific focus on the period between 1950 and 1960. The collection comprises the class notes of former Bauhaus students Howard Dearstyne and Hannes Beckmann, as well as papers of Bauhaus masters Hannes Meyer and Josef Albers.

Formats include original typescripts, handwritten class notes, newspaper clippings, magazines, and exhibition pamphlets.

The records were originally housed in binders in no particular arrangement. They were rehoused in archival folders and boxes in 2013 and arranged into series by subject (Series I) and artist (Series II and Series III). Series I and II are further ordered chronologically, while Series III is further arranged by subject and then date, with distinction given to records created before and after the Second World War. The materials are in relatively good condition. Acidic newspaper clippings have in some cases been isolated in Mylar sleeves.

Historical Note:

The Bauhaus was founded in 1919 by architect Walter Gropius and closed in 1933 as a result of Nazi pressure. Organized into workshops, the Bauhaus brought together fine artists and craftsmen and became a center for avant-garde and art and design in Europe during the 1920s. Its faculty included Paul Klee, Wassily Kandinsky, Oskar Schlemmer, Lyonel Feininger, Josef Albers, Marcel Breuer, Herbert Bayer, Marianne Brandt, László Moholy-Nagy, and Mies van der Rohe, among others.

For more information of the history of the Bauhaus, see bauhaus-online.de, a website curated by the three main German institutions that preserve the Bauhaus legacy: the Bauhaus-Archiv, Museum für Gestaltung Berlin, the Bauhaus Dessau Foundation, and the Foundation of Weimar Classics.

Series and Subseries in the Collection

The series is arranged into three series:
  1. Series I: Bauhaus: Teaching
  2. Series II: Hannes Meyer
  3. Series III: Josef Albers

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Beginning in 1947, Charles L. Kuhn, Curator of the Busch-Reisinger Museum, and Walter Gropius contacted most of the latter’s surviving Bauhaus colleagues, including Josef and Anni Albers, Hannes Meyer, and Herbert Bayer, to request donations of artworks and archival materials to establish a collection devoted to the Bauhaus. The materials were acquired in successive donations between 1947 and 1965.

Related Materials

There are additional Bauhaus materials in the collection of the Busch-Reisinger Museum.

There are additional papers of Bauhaus founder Walter Gropius in the Harvard Art Museums Archives and Houghton Library.

Additional documents related to the Bauhaus and Walter Gropius’ tenure at Harvard are held by the Francis L. Loeb Library.

Box and Folder Locations

  1. Box 1: Folders 1-26
  2. Box 2: Folders 27-45
Names
  1. Albers, Josef
  2. Bauhaus
  3. Bayer, Herbert, 1900-1985
  4. Beckmann, Hannes, 1909-1977
  5. Breuer, Marcel, 1902-1981
  6. Dearstyne, Howard
  7. Dürckheim, Karlfried, Graf, 1896-1988
  8. Gropius, Walter, 1883-1969
  9. Kuhn, Charles L. (Charles Louis), 1901-
Subjects
  1. Architectural criticism
  2. Architecture
  3. Architecture –- Study and teaching
  4. Architecture -- Study and teaching -- Germany -- History -- 20th century.
  5. Architecture, Modern -– 20th Century
  6. Design
  7. Interior Design
Form/Genre Terms
  1. Class notes
  2. Clippings
  3. Exhibition catalogs
  4. Typescripts

Processing Information

The collection was processed from September 2013 to December 2013 by Raphael Koenig under the supervision of Laura Muir with assistance from Megan Schwenke. The finding aid was revised in July 2014 by Brooke McManus.
Link to catalog
Title
Collection of Bauhaus Records (BRM 3), 1928-1965: A Guide
Author
Busch-Reisinger Museum
EAD ID
art00034

Repository Details

Part of the Harvard Art Museums Archives Repository

The Harvard Art Museums Archives is the official repository for institutional records and historical documents in all formats relating to the Fogg Museum, the Busch-Reisinger Museum, and the Arthur M. Sackler Museum, 1895 to the present. Its collections include significant papers of individuals and groups associated with the museums' history, as well as correspondence with collectors, gallery owners, museum professionals, and notables throughout the twentieth century. Its holdings also document the formation of the museums' collections and its mission as a teaching institution.

Contact:
32 Quincy Street
Harvard University
Cambridge MA 02138 USA
617-495-2384