Bauhaus Weaving Theory: From Feminine Craft to Mode of Design by Tai Smith
English | Nov. 1, 2014 | ISBN: 0816687234, 0816687242 | 272 Pages | PDF | 4 MB
The Bauhaus school in Germany has long been understood through the writings of its founding director, Walter Gropius, and well-known artists who taught there such as Wassily Kandinsky and László Moholy-Nagy. Far less recognized are texts by women in the schools weaving workshop. In Bauhaus Weaving Theory, Tai Smith uncovers new significance in the work the Bauhaus weavers did as writers. From colorful, expressionist tapestries to the invention of soundproofing and light-reflective fabric, the workshops innovative creations influenced a modernist theory of weaving. In the first careful examination of the writings of Bauhaus weavers, including Anni Albers, Gunta Stözl, and Otti Berger, Smith details how these women challenged assumptions about the feminine nature of their craft. As they harnessed the vocabulary of other disciplines like painting, architecture, and photography, Smith argues, the weavers resisted modernist thinking about distinct media. In parsing texts about tapestries and functional textiles, the vital role these women played in debates about medium in the twentieth century and a nuanced history of the Bauhaus comes to light.