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The Bauhaus Group: Six Masters of Modernism Hardcover – Deckle Edge, October 27, 2009


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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Ten Surprising Facts from The Bauhaus Group
  1. Alma Mahler made Walter Gropius's private life a sort of living hell at the same time that he was founding the Bauhaus.
  2. Paul Klee was an inventive and competent cook who specialized in offal.
  3. Wassily and Nina Kandinsky had had a son who died at age two in Moscow, but at the Bauhaus never even referred to his having existed and kept this tragedy a private matter.
  4. Years after the Bauhaus closed, Nina Kandinsky was murdered in her chalet in Gstaad.
  5. Mies Van der Rohe invented his name.
  6. Anni Albers, when asked who she would have liked to be, replied "Mae West."
  7. A woman at the Bauhaus claimed that she was pregnant with Josef Albers's child but that they had never had sex.
  8. The real reason Gropius gave up the reins of the Bauhaus was, as much as anything, because it was a financial mess.
  9. The Mazdaznan sect, which favored rituals that included the ritual use of powerful laxative, had a major presence at the Bauhaus.
  10. While Josef Albers came from a working class Catholic family, and Anni Albers from a rich and cosmopolitan Jewish one, her parents found her so difficult that they told Josef they were thrilled she had found him, and that he could always seek refuge with them. --Nicholas Fox Weber

(Photo © Marion Ettlinger)


Review

"[In this] groundbreaking group biography, the prolific, best-selling, and commanding Weber tells the dramatic stories of [the] Bauhaus stars. . . A grand synthesis of biography, art history, and interpretation, Weber's dazzlingly detailed suite of Bauhaus lives greatly enriches our understanding of modernity and art."
Booklist (starred)
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This Book Is Bound with "Deckle Edge" Paper
You may have noticed that some of our books are identified as "deckle edge" in the title. Deckle edge books are bound with pages that are made to resemble handmade paper by applying a frayed texture to the edges. Deckle edge is an ornamental feature designed to set certain titles apart from books with machine-cut pages. See a larger image.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf; 1 edition (October 27, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307268365
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307268365
  • Product Dimensions: 6.6 x 1.7 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #895,941 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Nicholas Fox Weber is a cul­tural his­to­rian. He is the
 Exec­u­tive
Direc­tor of the Josef and Anni Albers
 Foun­da­tion and has writ­ten
exten­sively about each
 artist. He has curated many major exhi­bi­tions
and
 ret­ro­spec­tives of their work.

Weber is a grad­u­ate of Colum­bia Col­lege (B.A., major in Art His­tory)
and Yale Uni­ver­sity (M.A., Art His­tory; Fel­low­ship in Amer­i­can Art).
He is the author of four­teen books includ­ing The Bauhaus Group,
Le Cor­busier, The Clarks of Coop­er­stown, Balthus A Biog­ra­phy,
Patron Saints, The Art of Babar, and The Draw­ings of Josef Albers.

Weber is at work on a full-scale biog­ra­phy of Piet Mon­drian to be
pub­lished by Alfred A. Knopf.

Photograph by Marion Ettlinger

Website: http://www.nicholasfoxweber.com/

Customer Reviews

3.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By XV Corps on March 5, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a fun read. Sometimes it almost seems that Weber is too close to his subjects. The praise he covers the Bauhauslers with is a little over the top but this is a great introduction to what the Bauhaus was and was about. It could have done with more colored illustrations. In some cases, Weber describes an object or painting but with no illustration of the piece it is somewhat hard to follow. Surely, since he talks a lot about J. Albers' "Homage to the Square", that there would at least be an example of one in the book. Overall, a good read.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Sigrid Olsen on April 30, 2010
Format: Hardcover
This marvelous book introduces the major Bauhaus masters. I can give it no greater compliment than saying that after reading this book, I wanted to paint, weave, make a stained glass window, and design a building, so captivating was Weber's book. I learned so much more about Bauhaus than I knew before. It covers the movement from Weimar, to Dessau, to the last years in Berlin, where the school struggled against the disdain of the Third Reich. The Bauhaus community created and feuded together. They also had the support of civic leaders, which is the only thing I wish Weber would have included a bit more detail.

Instead of distracting the reader with a "meanwhile" approach and trying to tell the stories of the main participants, all at the same time, he, instead, splits the book into six intertwining biographies.

It was such an interesting read! It is more a comment on American taste than Weber's writing that there are so few reviews. This book is a treasure of research, interviews and anecdotes.

The Bauhaus movement was not just architecture, but also painting, theater, music performance and weaving. In fact, Weber knew both Anni and Josef Albers, and his exploration of their later life in America is personal, funny, and at times an eye opener (such as when a movie star tries to persuade Anni Albers to give him some of her late husband's paintings). I especially enjoyed reading about Anni Albers beautiful tapestries/weavings, which are considered masterpieces.

Just when I thought it could not be better, it ends with an account of Mies van der Rohe who is called before Nazi leader Alfred Rosenberg (who would be tried, and executed, at Nuremberg). Seeing that Bauhaus is doomed, he still scolds Rosenberg for sitting at an ugly desk. You have to admire his nerve....
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Roger Neustadter on June 16, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A very disappointing book. The author chooses to write at great length about Joseph and Anni Albers, who he knew well. In doing so he almost ignores important Bauhaus figures such as Bruer and minimizes coverage of others. For a $40 book he skimps on illustrations. Seeing pictures or drawings of furniture and buildings would have added greatly to the enjoyment and the knowledge gained from the book. The information about the Albers favorite restaurant in suburban Connecticut is of little interest to me and of little importance compared to the Bauhaus history.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By John R. Rieben on August 6, 2010
Format: Hardcover
So much has been written about Gropius and Mies that it seems almost gratuitous to include them in this publication. With the exception of naming Frau Gropius's lover, I found nothing new nor enlightening. Historians and observers have likewise provided us with countless accounts of Klee and Kandinsky but the author has helped me understand the two Bauhaus Masters better as real people rather than artistic icons. The authors' sensitive telling of the hardship's of war years and how it personally affected Kandinsky, the death of his 3 year old son from malnutrition, causes me to look at his work with a new sensitivity. I have always admired Klee, almost as much as Kandinsky, but I was not aware of his oddness. Almost as bad as Itten. Even now I am not sure if it was psychological in nature or simply his existence on a different plane. I had not before realized the extent his colleagues and students found him peculiar. Today his lecture technique would gain him a very low grade in "Rate Your Professor" on-line evaluation.

But the real value of the book and what kept me transfixed comes in the personal and sensitive fleshing out of Joseph and Anni Albers by the author. I don't personally place them at the same elevated level as Gropius, Kandinsky, Klee, and Mies but they are important contributors to the Bauhaus movement and more important, they increased the importance of their art and professional standing in their post Bauhaus life.

The author became close enough to the Albers that they trusted him with both their strengths, and weaknesses. Through the telling of their stories, secrets, and personal reminisces I am able to
know the Albers a little.
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