Disruptive and forward-thinking at the time, the German Bauhaus, which lasted from 1919 to 1933, had a tremendous impact on 20th-century art, architecture, and design, one that far outweighs the relatively short length of its tenure. Even if you don’t know much about the Bauhaus (and we’re not talking the ’80s goth-rock band), you’re likely familiar with some of its members; for instance, artists like Paul Klee and Vasily Kandinsky or midcentury-modern design lions like Marcel Breuer and Mies van der Rohe.
Locally, the most important name to know is Herbert Bayer (1900–1985), who attended the Bauhaus early on and then taught advertising, design, and typography at the school until 1928. Bayer arrived in Aspen in 1945 and had an outsize influence here—forging an aesthetic vision for the whole community, designing the campus of the Aspen Institute, producing reams of diverse art, creating promotional campaigns, and initiating the town’s historic preservation efforts.
For the lowdown on Bayer, and to learn more about Aspen’s community-wide, year-long celebration (bauhaus100aspen.org), read on.
Photo: Courtesy Aspen Historical Society, Bayer Collection