• Bauhaus Manifesto

    Walter Gropius created the Staatliche Bauhaus in Weimar in 1919 from the merger of the Großherzoglich-Sächsische Kunstgewerbeschule (Grand Ducal Saxonian school of arts and crafts), where Henry van de Velde was director until 1915, and the Großherzoglich-Sächsische Kunstschule (Grand Ducal Saxonian school of arts). Immediately after he took office as director, Gropius had a four-page pamphlet printed. He put Feininger’s Cathedral woodcut on the front page and included both the founding manifesto and a detailed teaching program in the content. This is where Gropius announced his school’s seminal aim: architecture, sculpture and painting were to lead back to the crafts. The name “Bauhaus” was selected for its allusion to the masons’ guilds of the medieval cathedrals, which combined art and craft in the collaborative undertaking, the “grand building”. Cathedral Feininger’s cubist woodcut, "Cathedral", was made in 1919 for the cover of Walter Gropius’s manifesto and programme for the Staatliches Bauhaus…

  • Eric Gill

    Arthur Eric Rowton Gill was an English sculptor, typeface designer, stonecutter and printmaker, who was associated with the Arts and Crafts movement. He is a controversial figure, with his well-known religious views and subject matter being seen as at odds with his sexual and paraphiliac behaviour and erotic art.Gill was named Royal Designer for Industry, the highest British award for designers, by the Royal Society of Arts. He also became a founder-member of the newly established Faculty of Royal Designers for Industry. Early life and studiesGill was born in 1882 in Steyning, Sussex. He was the elder brother of MacDonald "Max" Gill (1884-1947), the well known graphic artist. In 1897 the family moved to Chichester. He studied at Chichester Technical and Art School, and in 1900 moved to London to train as an architect with the practice of W.D. Caroe, specialists in ecclesiastical architecture. Frustrated with his training, he took…

  • Gerd Arntz

    Gerd Arntz was a German Modernist artist renowned for his black and white woodcuts. A core member of the Cologne Progressives he was also a council communist. The Cologne Progressives participated in the revolutionary unions AAUD (KAPD) and its offshoot the AAUE in the 1920s. In 1928 Arntz contributed prints to the AAUE paper Die Proletarische Revolution, calling for workers to abandon parliament and form and participate in worker's councils. These woodcut prints feature recurring themes of class. Born into a family of merchants, Arntz was educated at a private academy in Düsseldorf and later attended the school of applied arts in Barmen (1921). He acquired the Düsseldorf studio of Otto Dix in 1925, when Dix moved to Berlin. Arntz travelled widely through Europe, and lived in Vienna, Cologne, and Moscow among other cities. Arntz was a core member of the Cologne Progressive Artists Group. From 1926 Otto Neurath sought…

  • Herbert Bayer

    Born in 1900, Bayer apprenticed under the artist Georg Schmidthammer in Linz. Leaving the workshop to study at the Darmstadt Artists' Colony, he became interested in Walter Gropius's Bauhaus manifesto. After Bayer had studied for four years at the Bauhaus under such teachers as Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee and László Moholy-Nagy, Gropius appointed Bayer director of printing and advertising.In the spirit of reductive minimalism, Bayer developed a crisp visual style and adopted use of all-lowercase, sans serif typefaces for most Bauhaus publications. Bayer is one of several typographers of the period including Kurt Schwitters and Jan Tschichold who experimented with the creation of a simplified more phonetic-based alphabet. From 1925 to 1930 Bayer designed a geometric sans-serif Proposal for a Universal Typeface that existed only as a design and was never actually cast into real type. These designs are now issued in digital form as Bayer Universal. The design also…

  • Jan Tschichold

    Tschichold was the son of a provincial signwriter, and he was trained in calligraphy. This artisan background and calligraphic training set him apart from almost all other noted typographers of the time, since they had inevitably trained in architecture or the fine arts. It also may help explain why he never worked with handmade papers and custom fonts as many typographers did, preferring instead to use stock fonts on a careful choice from commercial paper stocks.After the election of Hitler in Germany, all designers had to register with the Ministry of Culture, and all teaching posts were threatened for anyone who was sympathetic to communism. Soon after Tschichold had taken up a teaching post in Munich at the behest of Paul Renner, they both were denounced as "cultural Bolshevists". Ten days after the Nazis surged to power in March 1933, Tschichold and his wife were arrested. During the arrest, Soviet…