BCF is an non profit organization dedicated to preserving the legacy of László Moholy-Nagy’s schools.
The Bauhaus Chicago: Design in the City exhibit opened at the Art Institute on November 23, 2019; its focus is the golden age of the Institute of Design, from its founding as the New Bauhaus in 1937 by László Moholy-Nagy to its move to the IIT campus in 1956. Bauhaus Chicago features more than 90 objects from BCF collections, making BCF the principal lender to the exhibit.
This comprehensive display of ID student work, Bauhaus Chicago includes class projects and post-ID life work by Dori Hahn Altschuler, Edgar Bartolucci, Robert Brownjohn, Harold L. Cohen, Lera Colyer Sokolik, Sumner Fineberg, Eugene Godfrey, Daisy Igel, David Kropp, Elsa Kula, Irwin Lubroth, Herbert Pinzke, Davis Pratt, James Prestini, M. Richard Schultz, Art Sinsabaugh, Mary Jo Slick Godfrey, Simon Steiner, Tetsuo Takayanagi, Mili Thompson, Margit Varro and Harold Walter.
As exhibit curator Alison Fisher notes: “Working with the BCF allowed me to include many designers whose work will be completely new to most museum visitors. The material diversity of the BCF collections and its refreshingly open thinking about what constitutes a design object have been a revelation to me. I am thrilled to feature these generous loans from the BCF alongside sculpture, textiles, and photographs from the permanent collection of the Art Institute and I am honored to have had the chance to collaborate with a tremendous Chicago-land institution.”
The afternoon of the exhibit opening more than 70 “golden age” ID student and faculty member families, many of whom contributed objects and archival materials to BCF collections, attended a private reception at the Matthew Rachman Gallery. BCF executive director Paul Young recognized the BCF community commitment to preserving a comprehensive record of the ID’s distinctive character. The Bauhaus Chicago exhibit, he noted, demonstrates the value of the BCF collection strategy—that of collecting every work of art, drawing, student project, class note, correspondence, photograph, and life work from every ID student and faculty member—because the story BCF collections tell is one of extraordinary collaborations among students and faculty members, across the disciplines and the arts, and between the institution and other sectors, particularly the art and design industry. Alison Fisher joined Paul in thanking donors to the BCF collections for enabling the Bauhaus Chicago exhibit to tell a fresh—and a more adequate and more inclusive—story about the seminal contributions of the ID to modern design and architecture.
BCF Celebrates Opening of the Bauhaus Chicago Design in the City
27 Chicago Designers, 1957
©2016 Bauhaus Chicago Foundation
Tetsuo Takayanagi Hand Sculpture
To preview the collections, click on the name
Basic Workshop Class of John Walley, 1947
Elsa Kula Promotional Piece
John van der Meulen, Daisy Igel, Konrad Wachsmann
Photograph by Kay Harris, c 1950
Designers in Production Brochure, Harold Cohen & Davis Pratt
A Chicago Design and Production Company, 1950-57
Thanks to these collection donors:
Harold and Mary Cohen, Estate of Robert Genchek, Len Gittleman, Daisy Igel & Family, Elsa Kula & Family, Belle Kerman, Family of Richard Nickel, Per Pearson, Kathleen Picken, Charles Swedlund, Family of Tetsuo Takayanagi
Exhibition curator recognizes BCF collections as a "revelation"
In 2019 the BCF has acquired important materials representing the work of many Institute of Design faculty members and students, including Robert Brownjohn, Harold L. Cohen, Robert Genchek, Len Gittleman, Daisy Igel, Elsa Kula, E. Ray Pearson, Davis Pratt, Tetsuo Takayanagi, Angelo Testa, John van der Meulen, and Konrad Wachsmann.
The Daisy Igel collection is especially interesting, representing one of a very few woman architecture students, who both practiced architecture and taught; she studied with and maintained a lively correspondence with Buckminster Fuller and Konrad Wachsmann. The Takayanagi collection includes stunning drawings of unusual student projects including a 1949 class project design, previously unknown, for a new Institute of Design building on the IIT campus. The Elsa Kula collection includes early student work by both Kula and husband Davis Pratt, independent life work in graphic and furniture design, as well as furniture and collaborative work.