New director of the Bauhaus Dessau Foundation in office

Dr Barbara Steiner took over as director and CEO of the Bauhaus Dessau Foundation today, 1 September 2021. “Leading the Bauhaus Dessau Foundation is a joy and a challenge in equal measure”, says Barbara Steiner.

Dr Barbara Steiner holds a doctorate in art history. She took over as director of the Kunsthaus Graz in 2016 and was director of the Galerie für Zeitgenössische Kunst Leipzig Foundation from 2001 to 2011. She is very well connected in the national and international art scene. She has also been active in the Bauhaus Dessau environment: in the project Shrinking Cities, which examined shrinking processes in an international context, she was part of the curatorial team. “Neither the Bauhaus Dessau nor the region is unknown to me. That’s an advantage.” With Saxony-Anhalt’s participation in the New European Bauhaus, she is “already in the middle of the first projects”, says Barbara Steiner.

The Bauhaus Dessau Foundation will be involved in the New European Bauhaus initiative. Joint projects with the Bauhaus Kooperation Berlin Dessau Weimar as well as the Anhalt University of Applied Sciences and other partners in the state are under discussion. Barbara Steiner also has a lot of plans for the Bauhaus Museum Dessau, which opened in 2019. The focus here is particularly on the ground floor. Designed as an open space for events, art and encounters, this profile is to be further expanded. The year 2025, which marks the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Bauhaus Dessau, comes also into focus. “With partners from the city and the region, we will certainly turn the ‘small’ Dessau anniversary into a celebration that will attract many people to Dessau”, says Barbara Steiner.

Rainer Robra, Minister of Culture of Saxony-Anhalt and Chairman of the Foundation Council of the Bauhaus Dessau Foundation, congratulates Barbara Steiner on taking office: “The Bauhaus Dessau Foundation is an institution with local, regional and international appeal. In Barbara Steiner, we have found a very well-connected and committed director who will further develop the work of the foundation and the cultural location of Saxony-Anhalt through interesting projects. I wish her a successful start and look forward to a good cooperation.”

Barbara Steiner was selected by the Foundation Council from a total of 32 international applicants. She is the fifth director of the Bauhaus Dessau Foundation. Her predecessors were Rolf Kuhn (1994–1998), Omar Akbar (1998–2008), Philipp Oswalt (2009–2014) and Claudia Perren (2014–2020).

V i t a

Dr Barbara Steiner (born 1964) studied art history and political science at the University of Vienna. The subject of her doctoral thesis was the ideology of the white exhibition space. In the 1990s, she directed the art associations in Ludwigsburg and Wolfsburg and, from 2001 to 2011, the Galerie für Zeitgenössische Kunst (GfZK) Leipzig Foundation. From 2014 to 2016, Barbara Steiner was an interim professor for the master’s programme Cultures of the Curatorial at the Hochschule für Grafik und Buchkunst / Academy of Fine Arts Leipzig (HGB). In mid-2016 she became director of the Kunsthaus Graz.

Barbara Steiner has also taught at the University of Art and Design Linz (1994–2000), the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen (2000–2002 and 2004/2005) and the University of Applied Arts in Vienna (2007–2009).

Signing of the contract

Signing of the contract: Bauhaus Director Barbara Steiner in the historic director’s office in the Bau-haus Building / Stiftung Bauhaus Dessau, Foto: Thomas Meyer/OSTKREUZ
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Signing of the contract: Minister of Culture Rainer Robra in the State Chancel-lery in Magdeburg / Staatskanzlei Sachsen-Anhalt