In 1923, a flurry of colorful postcards heralded the first major Bauhaus school exhibition. Both students and established artists including Paul Klee, László Moholy-Nagy, Wassily Kandinsky, and Herbert Bayer offered snapshots of the German modernist aesthetic that would majorly influence art and design for the rest of the 20th century.
A complete 20-postcard set of Postkarte für die Bauhaus Ausstellung Weimar was recently acquired by the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and shared by Pamela Popeson, a preparator in the Department of Architecture and Design, on MoMA’s Inside/Out blog. MoMA itself is an institution entwined with the history of Bauhaus, as explored in the 2009 Bauhaus: Workshops for Modernity exhibition.
“These Bauhaus postcards were the mail art of their day,” Juliet Kinchin, curator in the Department of Architecture and Design, told Hyperallergic. “Many progressive artists in the early 20th century were interested in forms of mass production and new print media to spread their ideas quickly and internationally. The medium was an important part of the message: modern design was not about creating one-off monumental or exclusive creations.”
Lyonel Feininger sketched an angular cityscape, while Kandinsky’s contribution is a collision of lines and shapes, and Klee illustrated a little parade of whimsical creatures. Other works incorporate visual elements that would become iconic of the famous school, such as a face in profile on a postcard by Rudolf Baschant or the building itself on one by Paul Häberer.
“Viewed as a set you get a snapshot of the school’s educational philosophy and the sheer variety of their productions,” Kinchin added. “This was before the identity of the Bauhaus became linked in popular perceptions with a unified look of standardization and tubular steel.”
The exhibition postcard is something of a fading communication tool, with most people finding out about shows online nowadays, and the postcards offered in galleries generally replicating works on display. Below is a selection from the postcard set shared by MoMA, where each card is a small piece of art that stands on its own while also reflecting the Bauhaus’s radical ideas from its debut exhibition.
Read more about the 1923 Bauhaus postcard exhibition on the Museum of Modern Art’s Inside/Out blog.
The close, careful, and subtle observation I found this year is representative of precisely why I continue to gravitate to this fair.
How do we counter stereotypes about Black mothers, while stressing the importance of memory, determination, love, and corporeality?
An expansive exhibition on Adeliza McHugh’s influential Candy Store Gallery celebrates the whimsical, irreverent aesthetic that put California’s Sacramento Valley on the art-historical map.
With two stellar retrospectives, one time-based installation, and several commissions by local artists, the Phillips Collection has dedicated its galleries to highlighting abstract work by Black artists.
As we begin a new year, a small moment on Queer Eye makes me think about the profound effect our stories can have on each other.
Each fellow in this 10-month intensive in New Haven, Connecticut, will receive studio or office space, subsidized housing, and a generous stipend.
Some have criticized the racist monument’s planned relocation to North Dakota, near land seized from Indigenous people.
A group called the Boriken Libertarian Forces toppled the monument hours before King Felipe VI of Spain’s visit.
Graduate students in the University of Denver’s Emergent Digital Practices program work on research with faculty who are engaged directly with their communities, both online and off.
Still resonating with relevance, William Gropper’s incisive cartoons in defense of the WPA go on auction at New York’s Swann Galleries together with other works by celebrated WPA artists.
Archeologists excavating in Nijmegen, the Netherland’s oldest city, found the bowl in pristine condition.
A pioneer of street photography, Levitt worked in the most crowded and poorest neighborhoods of New York searching for the theater of everyday life.