With a view to photography, the exhibition “New Bauhaus Chicago. Experiment Photography and Film” follows the transatlantic heritage of the Bauhaus - for the first time outside the USA.

László Moholy-Nagy with students of the Institute of Design, Design Workshops, 1944 / Photo: (Screenshot from the film) Bauhaus-Archiv Berlin
László Moholy-Nagy with students of the Institute of Design, Design Workshops, 1944 / Photo: (Screenshot from the film) Bauhaus-Archiv Berlin

Eighty years ago László Moholy-Nagy founded the New Bauhaus in Chicago, thus providing American photography with a decisive creative impulse. The Bauhaus-Archiv photography collection’s holdings related to the New Bauhaus and to the Institute of Design, which grew out of it and still exists today and this anniversary has provided an occasion for presenting them. Photographs, films, publications and documents from the legendary school of photography, whose teachers included György Kepes, Harry Callahan, Aaron Siskind and Arthur Siegel, bring this exuberantly experimental workshop atmosphere back to life. Works by graduates like Barbara Crane, Joseph Jachna, Yasuhiro Ishimoto, Kenneth Josephson and Ray K. Metzker demonstrate how much their education remained a lifelong source of inspiration for them. The focus was on experimental approaches ranging from photograms to diverse variants of photography and all the way to the moving image. Along with around 200 photographs and 20 films, the exhibition includes a great number of documents and publications, thus conveying the history and distinctive characteristics of the photography programme at the New Bauhaus and Institute of Design.

Video New Bauhaus Chicago / Bauhaus Archiv / Museum für Gestaltung

Together with collection curator Dr. Sibylle Hoiman, guest curator Dr Kristina Lowis has prepared this exhibition and catalogue on photography at the New Bauhaus. During research trips to Chicago, Kristina Lowis identified works to be loaned from archives, museums and galleries there in order to effectively supplement the objects from the Bauhaus-Archiv’s own extensive holdings. “We are presenting the most extensive exhibition on photography at the New Bauhaus and Institute of Design ever shown outside the US,” said Annemarie Jaeggi, Director of the Bauhaus-Archiv / Museum für Gestaltung on the occasion of the opening. “It was possible to expand these once again through gifts made during preparations for the exhibition. I warmly thank all our donors for this.” Select loans from renowned cultural institutions in Chicago round off the presentation.

New Bauhaus Chicago: Experiment Photography and Film is the first of the Bauhaus-Archiv / Museum für Gestaltung, Berlin exhibitions for the 2019 centenary of the founding of the Bauhaus. It is supported by the Kulturstiftung des Bundes and the Federal State of Berlin.


Catalogue: New Bauhaus Chicago: Experiment Photography, ed. by Bauhaus-Archiv / Museum für Gestaltung, Berlin 2017. With contributions by A. Bähr, S. Daiter, J. Grimes, S. Hoiman, K. Lowis, E. Siegel. German & English editions, c. 200 pages, c. 150 colour illustrations, 24 × 30 cm, hardback, ISBN 978-3-7774-2938-0 (German), ISBN 978-3-7774-2937-3 (English); publication date: November 2017


[CG 2017; Translations: Bauhaus Archiv / Museum für Gestaltung]