Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Haus am Horn: The First House Built by Bauhaus School @ Houzz

Bauhaus - Haus am Horn (Weimar)

In a story about the Bauhaus, the Haus am Horn is featured at length in an article writtend by Eva Zimmerman.  The Haus am Horn for the first architectural project by the staff and students of the Bauhaus.  Built in 1923, the Haus am Horn consited of a house with all the essential furniture and other furnishings necessary for everyday life.

Zimmerman writes:

All the Bauhaus workshops helped build and furnish the house, which emerged as a residential prototype.  
It was supposed to be the beginning of a Bauhaus village that would be like a university campus today. However, after the state elections of 1924, the power structure in Thuringia changed, and the new conservative administration cut the school’s budget by half. In 1925, the Bauhaus moved to Dessau, and the village did not come to fruition.

Zimmerman acquired an excellent selection of photos for the piece, which includes images of early furniture designs by Marcel Breuer.  And curiously, although many architects came and went at the Bauhaus, the Haus am Horn was actually designed by an artist, named Georg Muche.

Architekturikone: Das erste Bauhaus-Gebäude der Welt

Interviewed for the article is Michael Siebenbrodt, the director of the Haus am Horn and curator of the Bauhaus Museum, and it's fair to say that overall Zimmerman has really done her homework for the piece, which I recommend reading for anyone truly interested in the origins of modernism.  The article is found here. 

Friday, May 6, 2016

Conversations: Ruth Erickson, Curator @ ICA Boston, Part Two

Ruth Asawa, Dancers, c. 1948, oil on blotting paper 12 x 19 inches. Weverka Family Collection. © Estate of Ruth Asawa. Image courtesy of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco

In the first part of my interview with curator Ruth Erickson, she talked about how the Leap Before You Look exhibition was designed to engage museum visitors.  Now moving deeper in the dialog, Erickson talks more specifically about the different departments at  Black Mountain College and how that influenced the exhibition, saying that “a lot of people remark on [how]we mixed media and styles, just as it was a very heterogeneous place at Black Mountain, there is a real mix of styles.” 

Within this framework, Erickson says “there’s an area of pedagogy that we look at experimental architecture—we have some of the Bucky [Buckminster] Fuller models that he had of geodesic domes” that now reside at Stanford University.

The exhibition took 4 years of research and development, during which time Erickson says she and the curatorial team looked at thousands of art and articles.

Speaking to architects who had a hand in shaping the Black Mountain College (BMC) experience, Erickson starts off by talking about Lawrence Kocher, who in addition to his relationship to BMC, was a long-time editor for Architectural Record.

“One of the most important architects was this guy named Lawrence Kocher, who had been in Pennsylvania—an important player who brought down the Breuer/Gropius plans for the new campus,” says Erickson, which in the end were deemed too costly to build.   “Kocher taught really interesting classes” at BMC, she says, including a class “for low- income housing.”  Adding that, Kocher “is in some ways the most important architect at Black Mountain.”

Erickson also talks about Buckminster Fuller's geodesic domes, and this span of the interview concludes with Erickson taking at length about artist Ruth Asawa

Leap Before You Look is on display at UCLA’s Hammer Museum for another week, and travels North later this year, opening on September 17th at the Wexner Center for the Arts in Columbus, Ohio.