|textile artwork by Anni Albers|
The male icons of the early-20th-century Bauhaus school, like Josef Albers, László Moholy-Nagy, and Paul Klee, are some of the celebrated pioneers of modern art. But the women artists who made groundbreaking work with them are often remembered in history books as wives of their male counterparts. While women were allowed into the German school female students were encouraged to pursue weaving rather than mediums like painting, carving, and architecture. Bauhaus founder Walter Gropius believed that men thought in three dimensions, while women could only handle two.
The year 2019 will mark the 100th birthday of the Bauhaus. As that date approaches, this bias toward the school’s male students is being revised, and its female members recognized by scholarship and exhibitions. Weavers, industrial designers, photographers, and architects like Anni Albers, Marianne Brandt, and Gertrud Arndt not only advanced the school’s historic marriage of art and function; they were also essential in laying the groundwork for centuries of art and design innovation to come after them.