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As Expert Debunks Bauhaus Myths In Aspen, Institute Announces New Center Dedicated To Herbert Bayer

Aug 3, 2019

Barry Bergdoll, Meyer Schapiro Professor of art history in the Department of Art History and Archaeology at Columbia University
Credit Columbia University

An expert on the Bauhaus visits Aspen Monday to separate myth from reality when it comes to the German design school.

The event follows an announcement that a center honoring one of the Bauhaus’ most famous students, Herbert Bayer, will be built on the Aspen Institute campus.

Meyer Schapiro Professor of Art History at Columbia University Dr. Barry Bergdoll wants to clarify what can truly be called “Bauhaus.”  He says the school co-opted artists in an effort to expand its reach. For example, the Bauhaus did not teach architecture for the first half of its existence. 

"What they did do, is they made exhibitions about architecture, in which they exhibited architecture that was being made by people in many, many different places," he said.

Bergdoll discusses Bauhaus fact and fiction at 4:30 p.m. on the Aspen Institute campus, which will soon see a new building dedicated to Bauhaus student Herbert Bayer. 

The Institute announced Saturday that, thanks to a $10 million dollar donation from Lynda and Stewart Resnick, it will construct the Resnick Center for Herbert Bayer Studies.  Bayer attended the Bauhaus before moving to Aspen in the 1940s.   

The Institute says the new building will align with the aesthetic of the rest of the campus and honor Bayer’s vision and style. It’s projected to be completed in 2022.