The bauhaus.photo travelling exhibition provides a glimpse of the world’s largest collection of Bauhaus photography, comprising more than 70,000 images. The 100 reprints of photographs presented here show the wide variety of creative ways in which the medium was used at the Bauhaus. Four themes give an extensive overview of this artistically diverse photography. The works of the Bauhaus’s students and teachers helped lead to the simultaneous development of parallels to contemporary avant-garde photography, from Surrealism and Dadaism to the New Vision and New Objectivity.
The central theme “Living the Bauhaus” focuses on the school’s vibrant atmosphere. Numerous photos were created which capture unique moments, from elaborately decorated festivities to everyday life at the Bauhaus and the activity in the Bauhaus’s workshops. The theme on portraits offers a fascinating range of different possibilities for presenting an image of oneself or another and simultaneously provides a look at various prominent figures at the Bauhaus. Among the architectural photographs, Lucia Moholy’s images of the Bauhaus building and Masters’ houses in Dessau particularly embody a style of architectural photography that is still influential today. The field of product photography developed into one of the priorities, since it was also intended to promote the marketing of objects developed in the workshops. Many of these images generate an atmosphere that elevate everyday objects into pieces of art. Finally, the exhibition focuses on “Peterhans’s Photo Class,” the only course in photography at the Bauhaus, which existed from 1929 to 1933. Works by the teacher as well as his students direct attention to the medium itself, while simultaneously dealing with how the medium was taught and became established at the school.
The exhibition presents classic works by Lucia Moholy, László Moholy-Nagy, and T. Lux Fein-inger as well as images by lesser known photographers like Kattina Both, Irene Bayer, and Max Peiffer Watenpuhl. The collection also includes a few superb works by entirely unknown artists as well. The photos use dynamic diagonals, extreme perspectives, and refined tricks to visualize experimental and professional approaches to the medium of photography at the Bauhaus. The image these pictures convey of life at one of the 20th century’s most important art schools still remains fascinating today.