Collecting Bauhaus

2 – 5 December 2019
Bauhaus Building /
Bauhaus Museum Dessau

It was in the year 1947, when Walter Gropius and Charles Kuhn realized their joint idea for a Bauhaus Study Collection at the then Germanic Museum of the Harvard University. Meanwhile the collection of the present Busch-Reisinger Museum in Cambridge has become one of the largest convolutes of Bauhaus objects in North America. Like many Bauhaus-related collections all over the world, its development is directly connected to the dramatical history of closure, expulsion and exile in the 20th century.

The Conference

The international conference Collecting Bauhaus will be the final event of the centenary. Curators, collectors, art historians, teachers and representatives of museums are invited to come to Dessau and talk about the globally dispersed histories of objects and collections of the Bauhaus.   

The Bauhaus Archive Berlin, die Bauhaus Dessau Foundation and the Klassik Stiftung Weimar are the institutions with the three largest Bauhaus collections of the world. However, the Bauhaus is not just national but international heritage. Bauhaus objects and convolutes are dispersed all over the world. The closure of the Bauhaus by the National Socialists, the defamation of its works as “degenerated”, flight and emigration have led to the situation that Bauhaus objects are being collected all over the world.  

The conference Collecting Bauhaus shows that the new Bauhaus Museum Dessau is part of a worldwide network of museums with Bauhaus collections. They are often linked with both private fates in the turbulent 20th century and the mechanisms and dynamics of the international art market. The participants will talk about the multifaceted provenances of the collections and the varying exhibition and teaching strategies, and on this basis, discuss issues of a global Bauhaus historiography. And finally, it should be reflected on how the global interconnections can be made fruitful for a Bauhaus museum in the 21st century.   


The registration phase ended on 18 November 2019. There there may be some seats remaining. Please contact Valentina Buitrago Garcia.


Museum of Modern Art, New York, US
Bauhaus-Archiv / Museum für Gestaltung, Berlin, DE
Klassik Stiftung Weimar, DE
Busch-Reisinger Museum, Cambridge, US
China Design Museum, Hangzhou, CN
gta Archive, ETH Zurich, CH
Josef and Anni Albers Foundation, Bethany, US
Die Neue Sammlung – The Design Museum, Munich, DE
Het Nieuwe Instituut, Rotterdam, NL
Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam, NL
Vitra Design Museum, Weil am Rhein, DE
Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Düsseldorf, DE
and many more …

Programme overview

Mon, 2 December 2019

Arrival and welcome program
for registered participants* inside

Tue, 3 December2019

10 a.m.
Reception and Welcome!

P a n e l 1

Provenance: Case Studies (1)

10.15 am – 11 am
w/ Martino Stierli, MoMA, New York

11 am – 11:30 am
Bauhaus in Ahmedabad: Prototypes for Modernity
w/ Tanishka Kachru, National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad

11:30 am – 12:30 am
Panel Discussion: Provenances
w/ Martino Stierli + Tanishka Kachru + Maria Müller-Schareck, Kunstsammlung NRW, Düsseldorf + Éva Forgács
Moderator: Annemarie Jaeggi, Bauhaus Archive / Museum für Gestaltung, Berlin

P a n e l 2

Provenance: Case Studies (2)

1.30 pm – 2 pm
Object Lessons: The Bauhaus and Harvard
w/ Laura Muir, Bush-Reisinger Museum, Cambridge

2 pm – 2.30 pm
Lionel Feininger's Painting Ober-Weimar and the Bauhaus <> Netherlands Network
w/ Mienke Simon Thomas, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam

2.30 pm – 3.30 pm
Panel Discussion: Provenances
w/ Laura Muir + Mienke Simon Thomas + Susanne Graner, Vitra Design Museum, Weil am Rhein + Tilo Grabach, Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Nuremberg
Moderator: Jeannette Redensek, The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation, Bethany

P a n e l 3

Provenance: Case Studies (3)
(dt > en)

4 pm – 5 pm
Panel Discussion: Provenance
w/ Klaus Blechschmidt, Ulrich Fiedler, Bernd Freese (private collectors)
Moderators: Wolfgang Thöner, Bauhaus Dessau Foundation + Anke Blümm, Klassik Stiftung Weimar

6 pm – 7pm
Exhibition tour: Bauhaus Lab: Out of the Suitcase. A Dispersed Collection
w/ Regina Bittner, Bauhaus Dessau Foundation + participants of Bauhaus Lab 2019
Different location > Bauhaus Building

Wed, 4 December 2019

P a n e l 4

Contiguities: The Museum as Context of Communication

9.30 am – 10 am
Sheila Hicks, Bauhaus and Latin America: Following Ariadne's Thread
/w Fernando A. Pérez Oyarzún, Museo National de Bellas Artes, Santiago de Chile

10 am – 10.30 am
The Museum as a Site of Inaccurate Quotes: Defamiliarization as a Way of Re-seeing Reality
w/ Hila Cohen-Schneiderman, MoBY: Museums of Bat Yam, Tel Aviv

10.30 am – 11.30 am
Panel discussion: Neighbourhoods
w/ Fernando A. Pérez Oyarzún + Hila Cohen-Schneiderman + Katja Leiskau, German Architecture Museum, Frankfurt + Angelika Nollert, The New Collection, Munich + Hetty Berens, Het Nieuwe Instituut, Rotterdam
Moderator: Ines Weizman, Bauhaus University Weimar

12.30 am – 1.30 pm
Reading: Walter Gropius. A biography
w/ Winfried Nerdinger
Reading from the series "Die Anhaltische Landesbücherei zu Gast im Bauhaus"
open to the public without registration
(dt > en)

P a n e l 5

Methods: Visibility of the Global

1.30 pm – 2 pm
Anonymous Modern: the Bauhaus Objects in China
w/ Zoe Zhang, China Design Museum, Hangzhou

2 pm – 2.30 pm
Colour Theory on Display: Ludwig Hirschfeld-Mack's Color Charts in Weimar, New York, and Melbourne
w/ Isabel Wünsche, Jacobs University Bremen

2.30 pm – 3.30 pm
Panel Discussion: Methods
w/ Zoe Zhang + Isabel Wünsche + Almut Grunewald, gta/ETH Zurich + Fabienne Eggelhöfer, Zentrum Paul Klee, Bern + Patrick Rössler, University of Erfurt
Moderator: Regina Bittner, Bauhaus Dessau Foundation

4.30 pm- 5.30 pm
Guided tour: The building as an Object
w/ Monika Markgraf and Florian Strob, Bauhaus Dessau Foundation
For registered participants only
Different location > Bauhaus Building

6 pm – 10.30 pm
B a u h a u s b i r t h d a y

Bauhaus Museum Dessau
open to the public without registration
(dt > en)

Thu, 5 December 2019
Farewell program for registered participants
and departure

The Bauhaus Dessau Foundation is a non-profit foundation ­under public law. It is institutionally funded by the German­ ­Federal Commissioner for Culture and the Media, the State of Saxony-Anhalt, and the City of Dessau-Roßlau. The Conference Collecting Bauhaus is generously funded by: