Thursday, July 25, 2013

Minimalism: Bauhaus Textiles

Woven Rug by Gunta Stölzl, 1922
Collection of the Museum of Modern Art.

Gunta Stölzl was chair of the weaving department at 
Germany's Bauhaus art school.

Anni Albers (lower right) recalled the early days at the art school : "There was no real teacher in textiles. We had no formal classes. Now people say to me: 'You learned it all at the Bauhaus'! We did not learn a thing in the beginning. I learned from Gunta, who was a great teacher. We sat down and tried to do it. Sometimes we sat together and tried to solve problems of construction."

Gunta Stölzl
Sketch for a rug design 1926

Gunta Stölzl in her apartment, 1927

Within the Bauhaus emphasis on primary shapes Stölzl and her students worked out variations on the limited theme.

Gunta Stölzl
Sketch for a rug design

Women students were confined to the weaving department at the school, which was not modern in its view of womens' roles.

They also served as models for Bauhaus photographers exploring the square, rectangle, triangle and circle.

László Moholy-Nagy 

The Olly and Dolly Sisters

Weaving sketch by Lena Bergner

Rug by Margaretha Reichardt, 1978

The Bauhaus weavers carried the theme with them after the school closed in the early 1930s due to Nazi harrassment. Stolzl moved to Switzerland.

Anni Albers in the 1920s

Albers and her husband Josef moved the the United States where they first taught at the Black Mountain School.

Weaving by Anni Albers

Weaving "With Verticals"
By Anni Albers, 1947

Bauhaus Textiles: Women Artists and the 
Weaving Workshop by Sigrid Wortmann Weltge

Too bad we didn't buy this book when it was new. It's expensive now but see if you can find it at your library or through interlibrary loan.

See more of Stolzl's and Albers's work at websites devoted to them.

See another photo of the women in the weaving department here:!i=74319744&k=zc8tqGj

Read about the school at the Metropolitan Museum of Art's webpage:

And here's a post I did last year on Stolzl:

1 comment:

  1. Thankyou for this post, that first rug is incredible. I am fairly new to Modernism in textiles and I am thoroughly enjoying this blog, thanks again.