Friedrich Reimann was one of the last Bauhaus graduates, receiving his diploma as an advertising artist from the private school in Berlin just ten days before it was closed down. He initially worked as a commercial artist in Berlin, but after the Second World War he became an art teacher.
Friedrich Reimann was born on 22 February 1912 in Deuna, Thuringia and was raised in Fuhrbach in the administrative district of Göttingen. After an apprenticeship as a bricklayer, in summer 1931 Reimann began to study at the Bauhaus Dessau. Here, the preliminary course directed by Josef Albers consisted of material and texture studies and figurative drawing. Reimann attended the classes 'abstract form elements' and 'analytical drawing' with Wassily Kandinsky. He also attended the latter’s free painting class until he left the Bauhaus. Reimann was taught typography by Joost Schmidt, mathematics by Willi Saemann and chemistry and technology by Wilhelm Müller. In the preliminary course, the letterpress printing master Willi Hauswald taught the mathematics of printed matter, typography, and printing and reproduction methods. These subjects were continued into the winter term, when Reimann also began to study in the printing and advertising workshop. Here, he attended among others classes in typographic design, figure drawing and life drawing with Joost Schmidt, figurative drawing with Josef Albers, descriptive geometry with Alfred Arndt and colour theory with Hinnerk Scheper. Reimann also sat in on guest lectures in psychology by Karlfried Graf von Dürckheim and learned photographic techniques in Walter Peterhans’ photography workshop.
When the Bauhaus was forced to leave Dessau in 1932, Reimann moved with the school to Berlin. Joost Schmidt no longer taught at the school, meaning that the third Bauhaus director Mies van der Rohe now headed not only the department of architecture, but also the department of advertising, with the assistance of the painter and graphic designer Hanns Thaddäus Hoyer, who taught typography. Reimann attended Willi Hauswald’s advertising and placard discussion workshops, Walter Peterhans’ photography class and Hinnerk Scheper’s class, which now also included life drawing. As one of the Bauhaus’ last students, Reimann was awarded the Bauhaus Diploma No. 117 by the advertising department on 1 April 1933. Ten days later the Gestapo raided, sealed off and shut down the Bauhaus; on 20 July 1933 Mies van der Rohe closed the school for good.
In spring 1934 Reimann collaborated on the elaborate graphic design for a stand for the propaganda show 'Deutsches Volk – Deutsche Arbeit'. Walter Gropius and Joost Schmidt designed the structure of the stand for the “Non-iron metals” department; Gropius had commissioned the former Bauhausler Werner Funkat to realise the design and he had hired Reimann in turn. Reimann worked as a commercial artist in Berlin until 1940; he also sat in on student workshops and classes in art schools, among them Walter Zuchor’s art school. He spent the first three years of his military service as a weather service assistant in Norway. He was married in 1943 and deployed thereafter as a guard and radio operator. After the end of the war Reimann returned to Eichsfeld in south-eastern Lower Saxony, where he worked from 1950 to 1975 as an art teacher at the Ursuline schools and the university-track school in Duderstadt. He was active at the same time as a freelance artist, graphic designer and sculptor and was a member of the Federal Association of Artists BBK.
Public works by Reimann include the Ursuline monument in Duderstadt, stained glass windows in the Friedhofskapelle Fuhrbach, a pietà sculpture in Neu-Bösekendorf and the “Friedensglobus” in Duderstadt. Other works by Reimann, for instance oil paintings, drawings, watercolours and small sculptures, have been shown in numerous general and joint exhibitions, for instance in Berlin, Bremen, Bonn, Dortmund, Duderstadt, Fuhrbach, Göttingen, Hildesheim, Northeim and Combs la Ville, France. Friedrich Reimann died on 3 January 2008 in Duderstadt.
Text: Burckhard Kieselbach
Brünung, Ute (1995): Das A und O des Bauhauses, Berlin.
Droste, Magdalena (1991): bauhaus 1919–1933, Berlin.
Kulturserver Niedersachsen – Stiftung kulturserver.de gGmbH (1990): Persönliche Aufzeichnungen Friedrich Reimann.
Reimann, Friedrich (um 1991): Sehen ohne Grenzen, Duderstadt.
Wingler, Hans M. (1975): Weimar Dessau Berlin, Schauberg.