Mar 19th 2019

Reliving Bauhaus Through VR and Photography

Friday, April 5, 2019 to Tuesday, May 14, 2019 Bauhaus Faces and Living the Bauhaus 3410 South State Street | Art x Architecture Student Gallery | 5 p.m.  Click here to RSVP

Many know the incredible impact the German school Bauhaus had on the worlds of art, typography, graphic design, industrial design, and architecture, but fewer may realize its influence on photography, even if the discipline only became an official piece of the curriculum 10 years into the school’s brief 15-year operation. Yet the medium permeated throughout the school, producing myriad photographs featuring the products, facilities, and people of Bauhaus.

From April 5 to May 14, Illinois Tech will host an exhibit of 100 reprints of those photos at 3410 South State Street. A reception will kick off the show at 5 p.m. on April 5, and it will remain open from 9 a.m.–5 p.m. on weekdays until May 14.

Unknown photographer- Portrait of Lis Beyer, 1929 Copyright- Bauhaus-Archiv Berlin

The exhibit will offer a glimpse into Bauhaus by presenting photographs from a few key individuals at the school, including Lucia Moholy, whose photographs of the Bauhaus’s Dessau buildings have proven to be incredibly influential to the field of architecture photography. Similarly, photos from Moholy’s husband and Bauhaus teacher, László Moholy-Nagy, will appear, as Moholy-Nagy was a seminal figure in Bauhaus photography, encouraging students to explore the medium through both objective documentation and abstract light capture. Finally, the exhibit will showcase images from Bauhaus’s only photography course, taught by Walter Peterhans.

László Moholy-Nagy- Self-portrait, 1926 Copyright- Bauhaus-Archiv Berlin

While Peterhans’s photography class was offered only in the school’s final years, the Bauhaus ethos embraced new technology, and thus students and teachers often found themselves using the medium to capture daily life and festivities at the school, as well as the many products and projects it produced. Later in the 1940s, after Moholy-Nagy’s New Bauhaus became a part of Illinois Tech, he continued the Bauhaus tradition of photography by establishing a department of photography that produced a number of notable faculty and alumni, including Aaron Siskind, Yasuhiro Ishimoto, and Linda Connor, to name a few.

Tuesday, March 26, 2019 to Friday, April 19, 2019 

Virtual Reality Bauhaus S. R. Crown Hall | 3360 South State Street 

Open Monday–Friday, 10 a.m.–4 p.m.

From March 26 to April 19, students, staff, faculty, and visitors at S. R. Crown Hall are invited to partake in Virtual Reality Bauhaus, a rare opportunity to explore the iconic Bauhaus building in Dessau, Germany, through an interactive virtual reality experience. Participants will be able to walk through the school’s halls, classrooms, workshops, and dormitories as they were during the 1920s, and immerse themselves in the philosophies and culture that made Bauhaus such a profoundly influential force in art, design, and architecture. The experience will be open Monday through Friday, 10 a.m.–4 p.m.

It’s only fitting that Illinois Institute of Technology students are afforded the opportunity to have this experience. Bauhaus only operated from 1919 to 1933, when it was closed under pressure from the Nazi regime, but shortly thereafter the Bauhaus ethos dissipated and re-rooted itself in several corners of the world, including Chicago. In 1937, Bauhaus teacher László Moholy-Nagy came to Chicago to form New Bauhaus, now Illinois Tech’s Institute of Design, while Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Bauhaus’s final director-architect, came to the university to mastermind its architecture program a year later. Both Moholy-Nagy’s and Mies’ impact on the school are still felt to this day.

Virtual Bauhaus is coming to S. R. Crown Hall as a celebration of Bauhaus’s founding 100 years ago, and is hosted in partnership with Goethe Institut, a nonprofit promoting the study of German language and culture.