Yes, these lovely ladies are from the Weaving Workshop!
The Barbican’s recent exhibit, Bauhaus: Art as Life, has renewed public interest in the Bauhaus school. The exhibit showcased the designs, fine art, and crafts produced by the students and Masters from its conception in 1919 to its closure in 1933. While the school readily accepted both male and female students, the only female professor, or Master, was Gunta Stölzl. Stölzl taught the Weaving Workshop, a course of study designated for women, as contemporaries considered weaving a women’s craft. In Bauhaus Women: Art, Handicraft, Design, the author Ulrike Müller describes the impact these women had on the textile industry:
The Bauhaus Women in the weaving workshop were the source of important developments for individual textile art as well as for modern industry, not just in Germany but also in countries such as Switzerland, England, Israel, and the United States…. Supported by fairly unsystematic teaching, and continuous trial and error, they created works with completely new patterns, shapes and color combinations created from the basic colors such as yellow, red, and blue, or striped patterns in shades of black and white.
While the women in the above photo are not identified, you will recognize the names of some of the members of the Weaving Workshop, including Anni Albers, Gertund Arndt, Otti Berger, and of course, Master Gunta Stölzl. I’ve assembled a collection of quotes from these women:
“Every beginner should be afforded this freedom of creativity. Courage is a key factor in every form of artistic creative process, it can best unfold when it is not curtailed too early by knowledge.”
Anni Albers, Die Werkstatt der Weberei (The Weaving Workshop)
“They all went to the weaving workshop, whether they wanted to or not. Yes, that was simply the way out….I never wanted to weave. It was absolutely not my aim. No, not at all. All those threads, I didn’t want that. No, that was not my thing.”
“To become an artist, one has to be an artist and to become one when one is already an artist, then one comes to the Bauhaus, and the task of the Bauhaus is to make a human being of this ‘artist’ again.”
“We wanted to create living things with contemporary relevance, suitable for a new style of life. Huge potential for experimentation lay before us. It was essential to define our imaginary world, to shape our experiences through material, rhythm, proportion, color, form.”
Gunta Stölzl, reflecting on her time at the Weimar Bauhaus in Bauhaus. Zeitschrift für Gestaltung, July 2, 1931
I hope that these quotes provide some insight into the minds behind the faces of the women of the pictured in this week’s image. Be sure to check back on Monday for next week’s mystery!