Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Barry Bergdoll, "Learning from the Americas: Gropius and Breuer in the New World"

In 2010, I interviewed Barry Bergdoll in relation to my work educating the public about Marcel Breuer, which had become a necessary aspect to the preservation effort to save Breuer's final building, The Atlanta-Fulton Central Public Library, from demolition.  I had been leading that effort for a number of years, and along the way Bergdoll and many others signed the petition I drafted on behalf of the building and its terraced plaza and monumental sculpture by Richard Hunt, entitled The Wisdom Bridge.  At the time, Bergdoll was (is) a professor at Columbia University, and he also held the title of Chief Curator of Architecture at the Museum of Modern Art.  What follows below is a video from a lecture Bergdoll gave in 2015 at Harvard University, entitled "Learning from the Americas: Gropius and Breuer in the New World."  For those who may be unaware, Walter Gropius was the founder of the Bauhaus, and Breuer was one of his star students, and subsequent partner on numerous collaborations in Europe and the United States.  Also, they both taught at Harvard in the years after the closing of the Bauhaus - before, during and after the end of World War II.

Friday, April 21, 2017

SYNOPSIS: From Bauhaus | To Black Mountain

Without the past there can be no present or pathway to the future, and with the knowledge that the telling of history determines who is most enfranchised in the everyday, there is at least one story about the history of art and education in the 20th century deserving a much closer and careful examination.

By investigating one of the most enduring spans in the history of modern art—from 1919 to 1933 and directly thereafter 1933 to 1957—representing the respective years of operation for the Bauhaus school, which closed the same year that Black Mountain College opened—renowned artist, writer and historian, Max Eternity, goes beyond familiar tropes and conversations on the subject.  Eternity illuminates a multitude of crucial transatlantic arts and humanities relationships in the Western world during those times, whereby sharpening and refining the historical lens.

Observed in the study of Germany's Bauhaus and the United States’ Black Mountain College, and by playing close attention to the social impact of these educational (forums) institutions and their respective players, From Bauhaus | To Black Mountain presents an intriguing and voluminous, yet concise, historical record in a manner accessible to layperson, practitioner, and academic.

In the malleable present and within the great hallways of collective memory, From Bauhaus | To Black Mountain offers an intellectually exciting and richly detailed understanding of the roots, and other aspects, of early to mid-century modernism’s family tree.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Andrew Reach on From Bauhaus | To Black Mountain

“I think you are writing a very important book on the subject of the Bauhaus and Black Mountain College—in a way not touched in academia, as far as I know—inclusive to the interconnections with the Jim Crow South, and shedding light on new territory about African American modernists. I think also your perspective is fresh, in comparison to the usual suspects in mainstream academia who have dominated the subject. On a side note, the cover art you created for this project is beautiful, and connects with the modernity of the Bauhaus and Black Mountain College.” 

Andrew Reach
Architect | Artist