Photography 

In 1923, Moholy-Nagy provided the decisive impetus that led to the Bauhaus’s engagement with photography.

László Moholy-Nagy introduced the ‘New Seeing’ to the Bauhaus in Dessau. His photographs of the Dessau Bauhaus building, for example, are in no sense mechanical reproductions of reality. Instead, they approach it actively using unconventional and even daring perspectives – and thus define a new relationship between people and architecture. The progressive sense of life this expressed was quickly taken up by other Bauhaus photographers. Their photos reflect the life, utopianism and spirit of fresh departures of a new era. Not least through his photograms, collages and multiple-exposure shots, Moholy-Nagy inspired the Bauhaus members to a new way of looking that provided the basis for experimentally exploring and making use of the medium’s potential.

Before this, photography had only played a minor role. Bauhaus founder Walter Gropius used it mainly for purposes of documentation and publicity for the objects and architecture developed at the Bauhaus. Lucia Moholy became the official documentary photographer and despite the objectivity required she soon developed her own quite individual style of depiction. A separate photography course was only introduced in 1929, as a special department of the Typography and Advertising Workshop. It was headed by Walter Peterhans, who taught the students not only photographic theory and practice, but also how to see with precision. The shapes and textures of the arranged objects were now captured down to their last nuances using meticulous lighting and given an almost magical effect. This emphasis on technical perfection was owed not least to the development of new professional specialties in commercial and applied photography. It ended the experimental phase of photography at the Bauhaus, with institutionalized teaching taking its place.

New temporary location!

The Bauhaus-Archiv / Museum für Gestaltung at Klingelhöferstrasse is closed, as the museum building will be renovated and receive an extension. We are sorry for the inconvenience!

At the end of June 2018 we opened the temporary bauhaus-archiv / museum für gestaltung, our temporary location at Knesebeckstraße 1-2 (U Ernst-Reuter-Platz), which includes our bauhaus-shop. We are looking forward to seeing you there!

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