Hinnerk Scheper

1920–1922 Bauhaus student / 1925–1933 Bauhaus young master

Bauhaus-Archiv Berlin / © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2016
Portrait of Hinnerk Scheper, 'head' / Photo: Lucia Moholy, 1927

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Hinnerk Scheper, brother of the Bauhaus affiliate Hermann Scheper, attended the Kunstgewerbeschule (school of applied arts) and the Staatliche Kunstakademie (state art academy) in Düsseldorf from 1918 to 1919. He then transferred to the Staatliche Kunstgewerbeschule (state school of applied arts) in Bremen.

He studied at the Staatliches Bauhaus Weimar from the winter semester of 1919, where he attended Johannes Itten’s preliminary course. In 1920, he worked as a journeyman in the wall painting department under Johannes Itten and Oskar Schlemmer and attended classes taught by Paul Klee. In 1922, he gained his master’s certificate at the Chamber of Crafts Weimar. He married the Bauhaus student Louise Berkenkamp the same year. Until 1925, he worked as a freelance painter and colour designer at Weimar’s Palace Museum and elsewhere.

Bauhaus-Archiv Berlin / © Scheper Estate, Berlin.
Experimental colour plan for the façade of the Bauhaus Building, author: Hinnerk Scheper, 1926

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In 1925, Walter Gropius appointed Scheper to the Bauhaus as a junior master. From 1925 to 1933, he was the director of the wall painting department at the Bauhaus in Dessau and Berlin; from 1931, he was the head of classes in colour. At the same time, he worked in restoration and created colour designs for places like the Folkwang Museum in Essen and, most importantly, for the Bauhaus Building in Dessau. From 1929 to 1931, he took a sabbatical from the Bauhaus and left for Moscow. There, he collaborated on the development of the building institute Maljarstroi, which among other things analysed the correlation between architecture and colour in the 1930s. He also produced photo spreads and reportages on the Soviet Union. In 1932, he worked with the German photographic agency Dephot (an acronym for Deutsche Photo-Agentur) in Berlin. In later years, he was employed by the photographic agencies Kind and Atlaphot.

Bauhaus-Archiv Berlin / © Scheper Estate, Berlin.
Orientation plan for the Bauhaus building in Dessau, author: Hinnerk Scheper, 1926

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From 1934, Scheper was mainly active as a freelance colour designer and restorer in Berlin. After completing his military service, he returned to Berlin in 1945. Here, he worked as a curator and director of the local office for the preservation of historical monuments, responsible for the preservation and reconstruction of war-damaged historic buildings and art monuments. He was appointed state conservator in 1953. From 1952, he also taught monument conservation at the Technische Universität Berlin. His last projects include colour designs for residential buildings for the 1957 exhibition Interbau Berlin.

Bauhaus-Archiv Berlin / © Scheper Estate, Berlin.
Colour Plan of the Bauhaus, author: Hinnerk Scheper, 1926
  1. Literature:
  2. Brüning, Ute (1995): Das A und O des Bauhauses, Berlin.
  3. Scheper, Renate (2007): Vom Bauhaus geprägt: Hinnerk Scheper. Farbgestalter. Fotograf. Denkmalpfleger, Bramsche.
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