Admissions literature for the Bauhaus school of art in the 1920s and early 1930s described an egalitarian community, with "absolute equality but also absolute equal duties." Women artists arriving at the Bauhaus were nevertheless immediately shuttled off to the weaving workshop, regardless of their interest in textiles. As Sigrid Wortmann Weltge explains, this was only the first indication that all was not progressive in this school of modernism. "They were at the Bauhaus because it had promised equality in the choice of a profession. In reality they found that their role within the institution was defined and formulated by their teachers. Only then did it become apparent that they were assigned talents and capacities viewed as innately female, of which a special predilection for textiles was only one."
Those who chose to stick it out in this sexist environment went on to create textiles which were some of the most beautiful and underappreciated art of the era. The weaving workshop eventually became a "laboratory for industrial fabrics" and one of the most financially successful workshops in the Bauhaus. This book chronicles the creative growth of the workshop within the larger context of the Bauhaus, and it unearths the history of individual artists such as Gunta Stolzl, Anni Albers, Benita Otte, Otti Berger, and Marli Ehrman. The author interviewed surviving Bauhaus weavers and their students, and she collected photographs--many of them rare--to illustrate nearly every page of this handsome work. --Maria Dolan
Clearly, the author has set the record straight: Bauhaus weaving stands proudly with the achievements of 20th-century art. -- Christian Science Monitor
Extremely handsome with brilliant color plates and extensive technical information....An invaluable tool for future scholars. -- Women's Review of Books
Extremely handsome...an invaluable tool for future scholars. -- Women's Review of Books
Opens up design vistas by capturing the spirit of the school's weaving workshop, one almost exclusively ruled by women. -- Booklist