Bauhaus: The Making of Modern

Everyone is invited to join Bauhaus: The Making of Modern from Sunday, August 4 through Tuesday, August 6 in Aspen, Colorado for an unforgettable celebration of the school that transformed our conception of design and art and their impact on society.

2019 marks the centennial anniversary of the Bauhaus, the German art school recognized by many as the 20th century’s most influential experiments in art, architecture and design. This will be a dynamic exploration of the modernist art school and the ways in which it has come to define modernism today.

We will explore the tumultuous times that fostered the Bauhaus school; its iconoclastic leaders and their unique approaches; and the philosophy born out of its brief fourteen-year life that has had a transformative effect on architecture, sculpture, painting, industrial design, and so much more. The Bauhaus sent ripples around the world — not least of all to Aspen, Colorado. Through lectures, discussions, hands-on workshops, and exhibitions, we will celebrate this rebellious and aspirational movement that in so many ways laid the foundations for our modern era.

Following the model of 2017’s Leonardo da Vinci celebration and last year’s program on The American West, this two-day deep dive promises to be an unforgettable one.

If you have any questions or would like additional information, please contact the SOF Hotline at (970) 544-7980 or sof@aspeninstitute.org.


Featured presenters include (more coming soon)…

Barry Bergdoll is Meyer Schapiro Professor of Art History at Columbia University.  He has published and organized exhibitions on a broad range of subjects in modern architectural history from the French Enlightenment to the present, most recently an edited volume on the Bauhaus-trained architect and furniture designer, Marcel Breuer (2018).  Bergdoll was Chief Curator of Architecture and Design at the Museum of Modern Art from 2007 to 2014, where he co-curated with Leah Dickerman, the exhibition, Bauhaus 1919-1933, workshops for modernity.

Paula Crown is an artist, advocate and entrepreneur.  She has spearheaded initiatives in education, women’s issues, the arts, children’s health, and environmentally sustainable business practices.  In 2012, Crown founded PAHC / studio • lab, a professional artist practice in Chicago and Aspen. She is a technologist and employs a range of tools from pencil to 3D printing.  Crown has had solo shows in New York, Dallas, London and Venice, in addition to numerous group and museum exhibitions. She is a member of the board of trustees of the Museum of Modern Art, where she chairs the Education Committee.  She also serves on the Aspen Institute Committee of the Arts. Crown is a former member of President Obama’s Presidential Committee on the Arts and Humanities. She is a principal at Henry Crown and Company in Chicago. Crown and her husband Jim of 34 years have four children.

Leah Dickerman began a new role as Director of Editorial and Content Strategy at The Museum of Modern Art in Fall 2017, developing and setting direction for the Museum’s public platforms. Before that, as Curator in the Department of Painting and Sculpture at the Museum of Modern Art, she organized or co-organized a series of exhibitions offering new perspectives on the modern including Robert Rauschenberg: Among Friends (2017), One-Way Ticket: Jacob Lawrence’s Migration Series and Other Visions of the Great Movement North (2015), Inventing Abstraction, 1910-1925 (2012-2013), Diego Rivera: Murals for the Museum of Modern Art (2011-2012), Bauhaus: Workshops for Modernity (2009-2010). Dickerman is also the Director of The Museum Research Consortium, a partnership between MoMA and graduate art history programs at Princeton, Yale, Columbia, The Institute of Fine Arts and The Graduate Center at The City University of New York, and has served on the editorial board of the journal October since 2000.

Nicholas Fox Weber is the director of the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation and founder and president of Le Korsa, a nonprofit organization devoted to medical care, education, and the arts in isolated villages in rural Senegal. He has written fifteen books, including biographies of Balthus and Le Corbusier, and, most recently, Freud’s Trip to Orvieto; his current project is a biography of Mondrian. Weber’s writing has appeared in numerous exhibition catalogues and the New Yorker, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal, Le Monde, ARTnews, Town & Country, and Vogue, among other publications. He is married to the novelist Katharine Weber, has two adult daughters, and lives in Connecticut, Paris, and southwest Ireland.

Bernard Jazzar is curator of the Lynda and Stewart Resnick Collection, a Los Angeles-based private collection comprising over 5,000 works of art in all media, ranging from the 15th century to contemporary.  In 2007, he curated a Herbert Bayer exhibition to inaugurate the Resnick Gallery in the newly-constructed Doerr-Hosier Center on the campus of the Aspen Institute. Metamorphosis: Transformation in Herbert Bayer’s Imagery, 1928-1940 was followed in 2009 by Geometry of an Illusionist: The Anthology Paintings of Herbert Bayer, 1976-1983, and in 2018 Herbert Bayer: Mountains and Convolutions, 1944-1953. All three exhibitions presented aspects of Bayer’s work that were not widely recognized or understood.  For the centennial anniversary of the Bauhaus, he curated the current exhibition A Total Work of Art: Bauhaus Bayer Aspen Bernard Jazzar received his BFA in interior architectural design and MA degrees in art history and museum studies from the California State University, Long Beach. He subsequently worked in the Department of Decorative Arts at the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles.

Dietrich Neumann is a professor for the history of Modern Architecture and director of Urban Studies at Brown University. He was trained as an architect in Munich, Germany and at the Architectural Association in London and received his PhD from Munich University. His publications have dealt with the history of skyscrapers, movie set design, architectural illumination, building materials and in particular with the work of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. He has won fellowships at the CCA, the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, American Academies in Berlin and Rome and won the Founder’s and Philip Johnson Awards from the Society of Architectural Historians, where he served as president 2008-2010 and was named a fellow in 2018. He was the first Vincent Scully Visiting Professor at Yale and is a member of the Committee on Architecture and Design at the Museum of Modern Art.

Elizabeth “Libby” Otto is an art historian and the author of Tempo, Tempo! The Bauhaus Photomontages of Marianne Brandt, the coauthor of Bauhaus Women: A Global Perspective, and the coeditor of five books including Bauhaus Bodies: Gender, Sexuality, and Body Culture in Modernism’s Legendary Art School. She is Associate Professor at the University at Buffalo (SUNY), where she has also served as the Executive Director of the Humanities Institute. Her work has been supported by numerous organizations including the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts, the National Humanities Center, and the University at Pittsburgh’s Humanities Center.

Nikil Saval is co-editor-in-chief of n+1, and the author of Cubed: A Secret History of the Workplace (Doubleday, 2014). He is a contributing writer for the New Yorker, on architecture, design, and cities, and he also writes frequently for the New York Times. He received a B.A. from Columbia, and a Ph.D. from Stanford, both in English Literature. He lives in Philadelphia, where he is the Democratic leader of the Second Ward. He is currently working on a book titled Everything is Architecture, about the figures who created modern design.

Melissa Venator is Mellon Fellow in Modern Art at the Saint Louis Art Museum and past Stefan Engelhorn Curatorial Fellow at Harvard University’s Busch-Reisinger Museum, which holds the largest collection of Bauhaus art outside of Germany. This collection has been the subject of her recent research. At Harvard, Venator curated “Hans Arp’s Constellations II,” assisted on the exhibition “The Bauhaus and Harvard,” and authored the first English monograph on Neue Sachlichkeit painter Carl Grossberg. In 2016, she completed her dissertation on electric light art made in 1920s Germany. Venator received her Ph.D. from Rice University, her M.A. from the University of Pennsylvania, and her M.A. in Arts Administration and M.B.A. from Southern Methodist University. At Saint Louis, she will author a publication on their renowned collection of modern German paintings.

Robert Wiesenberger is Associate Curator of Contemporary Projects at the Clark Art Institute, where he also teaches in the graduate program in art history at Williams College. From 2013–18, he was Critic at the Yale School of Art, where he taught a required history/theory seminar in the graphic design MFA program. From 2014–16, he was the Stefan Engelhorn Curatorial Fellow at the Harvard Art Museums, where his work focused on the museums’ Bauhaus collection and developing the digital resource The Bauhaus. He is the coauthor of Muriel Cooper (MIT Press, 2017) and author of a small publication on Marcel Breuer (August Editions, 2018). He holds a B.A. in history and German from the University of Chicago and a Ph.D in art history from Columbia University.

Featured Exhibitions and Workshops:

Economy of Form Workshop
In 1922, Josef Albers was invited to join the faculty of the Bauhaus. Teaching the preliminary course in the Department of Design, he challenged students to utilize “economy of form.” One of the exercises he created, was the cutting of a flat sheet and making it into a three-dimensional object. Guests will participate in a workshop experience creating their own three-dimensional object utilizing Bauhaus principles.

Furniture Exhibition
Bauhaus master furniture pieces will be selected from the Knoll furniture collection and displayed to depict classic Bauhaus design. Three vignettes will make up this exhibition, which will be featured in the Barksdale Lobby in the Doerr-Hosier Center.

Print Making Workshop
The print making workshop will give guests the unique opportunity to create original prints by designing their own palate or experimenting with color and layering, just as they did at the Bauhaus. Participants will be guided by an instructor, no experience is necessary to enjoy this hands-on workshop.

Virtual Reality Video Experience
The interactive virtual reality installation, Das Totale Tanz Theater, is inspired by Oskar Schlemmer’s stage experiments and Walter Gropius’ ideas of Total Theater. Fitted out with VR goggles and a controller, guests will embark on a thrilling journey through multiple levels of a vast, virtual stage space. This interactive experience will bring a dynamic perspective to the exploration of the Bauhaus.