The Aspen Institute Receives Generous Gift From Family of Bauhaus Designer Herbert Bayer

December 20, 2019

Thirteen Herbert Bayer Artworks will be gifted to the Aspen Institute from the collection of Britt Bayer

Contact: Cristal Logan
Vice President, Aspen
The Aspen Institute
Tel. 970-544-7929 | 

Aspen, CO,  December 20, 2019 — The Aspen Institute is pleased to announce the receipt of a gift of more than thirteen Herbert Bayer artworks from the collection of Britt Bayer, wife of Javan Bayer, stepson to Herbert Bayer (b. 1900, d. 1985). Britt Bayer died on September 16, 2018 and was an active member of the Aspen Institute Art Advisory Committee. Britt Bayer championed Herbert Bayer’s artwork and strove to ensure that his legacy would be enhanced and preserved, especially on the Institute’s Aspen Meadows campus. Herbert Bayer was commissioned by Institute founders Walter and Elizabeth Paepcke to design the Aspen Meadows campus in the early 1950s, including its buildings, Earth Works landscapes, sculptures, paintings, and tapestries.

The works of art in this latest remarkable gift span most of Bayer’s adult life from 1919-1985 and are some of the most significant contributions of artwork in the history of the Aspen Institute. They include: two large paintings on canvas, four acrylic pieces on paper, four watercolors, and several drawings and collages. Mrs. Bayer donated the works to the Aspen Institute specifically because of her approval of the recognition and display of Bayer’s work on its campus.

“We are honored to steward Herbert Bayer’s legacy by caring for and displaying his artwork on the campus he designed, and are deeply grateful to Mrs. Bayer and her family for this significant gift. The timing of this gift is especially exciting as we embark on the creation of the Resnick Center for Herbert Bayer Studies on our campus—a transformational new resource through which we will preserve and celebrate Bayer’s work in a facility befitting of his artistic genius,” noted Aspen Institute president and CEO, Dan Porterfield.

The Aspen Institute is dedicated to honoring Bayer and his legacy by displaying his artwork throughout its Aspen Meadows campus, and is currently working to restore the iconic Marble Garden sculpture created by Bayer and Elizabeth Paepcke in 1955. In 2018, the Institute acquired Bayer’s Anaconda marble sculpture and installed it prominently on the campus.

The Resnick Center for Herbert Bayer Studies, made possible by a generous $10 million gift from philanthropists and entrepreneurs Lynda and Stewart Resnick, will open in 2022. The new building will allow the Institute to preserve and honor the art of Bayer, showcase and exhibit its Bayer works, grow its collection, borrow from major cultural institutions, and create new exhibitions that will educate the public about Bayer’s remarkable legacy.

“For 30 years, Herbert Bayer transformed the town and created the campus of the Aspen Institute,” said Lynda Resnick, vice chair and co-owner of The Wonderful Company. “So many things we take for granted exist because of his holistic approach to design and his integration of all artistic disciplines, carrying on the original tenets of the Bauhaus. I am thrilled that his legacy will be celebrated at the Aspen Institute, and Britt’s generous gift will further enhance the appreciation of Bayer’s immense contribution to our community.”

Editor’s Note: Selected artworks from the collection can be viewed below. Please contact Cristal Logan: for additional or higher resolution images. 

The Aspen Institute is a global nonprofit organization committed to realizing a free, just, and equitable society. Founded in 1949, the Institute drives change through dialogue, leadership, and action to help solve the most important challenges facing the United States and the world. Headquartered in Washington, DC, the Institute has a campus in Aspen, Colorado, and an international network of partners.


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