GROPIUS. Sigfried Giedion: WALTER GROPIUS, WORK AND TEAMWORK. Reinhold, 1954. Herbert Bayer binding and Jacket Design.

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WALTER GROPIUS WORK AND TEAMWORK

Sigfried Giedion, Herbert Bayer [Designer]

[Walter Gropius/Bauhuas] Sigfried Giedion: WALTER GROPIUS WORK AND TEAMWORK. New York: Reinhold, 1954. First edition. Quarto. Black embossed cloth decorated in blue and white. Photo illustrated dust jacket. 250 pp. 317 black and white illustrations. Frontispiece by Hans Namuth. Dust jacket and binding design by Herbert Bayer. Jacket lightly worn to edges with a few tiny chips. Spine heel shows evidence of label removal, but no apparent ex libris evidence.  Textblock lightly thumbed, but a very good or better copy in a very good or better dust jacket.

7.5 x 10 hardcover book with 250 pages and 317 finely-printed black and white photographs, plans, drawings, models, etc. black and white photo portrait frontispiece by Hans Namuth. Also includes biographical outline; list of works 1906-1953; a thorough bibliography of Gropius' publications and works about him; and a comprehensive index. Giedion pays tribute to the creative genius of Gropius on his being awarded the first Sao Paulo Prize for Architecture for his work as innovator and educator during the past half-century. Chapters on his background, heritage and personality, appreciations by Mies van der Rohe and Le Corbusier, and eleven chapters on his life and work. [Freitag 4885; Sharp p.54 (citing British edition); Karpel B1229.]

Comprehensive study of the Bauhaus master by Sigfried Giedion (1888 – 1968) the Bohemian-born Swiss historian and architecture critic. His ideas and books, Space, Time and Architecture, and Mechanization Takes Command, had an important conceptual influence on the members of the Independent Group at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in the 1950s era. He was the first secretary-general of the Congrès International d'Architecture Moderne [CIAM]. He has also taught at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University. He was a cool dude and knew everybody.

American industrial, cultural and educational ambassadors were eager to embrace the refugees fleeing the coming storm in Europe. Joseph Hudnut invited Walter Gropius to join the Harvard Graduate School of Design, the Association of Arts and Industries financed the New Bauahuas in Chicago under Moholy-Nagy, Josef and Anni Albers helped developed the experimental teachings at Black Mountain College in Asheville, North Carolina, Mies van der Rohe assumed leadership of the Architecture program at the Armour Institute, Illinois Institute of Technology, and Alfred Barr and the Museum of Modern Art hosted art, architecture and design exhibitions devoted to the Bauhaus ideas.

The underlying idea Bauhaus formulated by Gropius, was to create a new unity of crafts, art and technology. The intention was to offer the right environment for the realization of the Gesamtkunstwerk [total work of art]. To achieve this goal, students needed a school with an interdisciplinary and international orientation. The Bauhaus curriculum offered a unique combination of research, teaching and practice that was unequalled by rival academies and schools of applied art. This educational paradigm was widely embraced by institutions in the United States trying to emerge from the depths of the Great Depression.

The Harvard Graduate School of Design is widely regarded as the cradle of American modern architecture. Professor Joseph Hudnut created the GSD by uniting the three formerly separate programs of architecture, landscape architecture, and city planning in 1935. He got rid of antique statuary, replaced mullioned windows with plate glass, and hired Walter Gropius to head the architecture program.

During his tenure at Harvard—from 1937 to 1952—Gropius oversaw the end of the academic French Beaux-Arts method of educating architects. Gropius’s philosophy placed an emphasis on industrial materials and technology, functionality, collaboration among different professions, and a complete rejection of historical precedent.

Assisted by Bauhaus colleague Marcel Breuer, Gropius educated a generation of architects who radically altered the landscape of postwar America, including Edward Larrabee Barnes, Garrett Eckbo, Lawrence Halprin, Dan Kiley, Philip Johnson, Eliot Noyes, I.M. Pei, Paul Rudolph, Edward Durell Stone, and many others.

Born and educated in Germany, Walter Gropius (1883-1969) belongs to the select group of architects that massively influenced the international development of modern architecture. As the founding director of the Bauhaus, Gropius made inestimable contributions to his field, to the point that knowing his work is crucial to understanding Modernism. His early buildings, such Fagus Boot-Last Factory and the Bauhaus Building in Dessau, with their use of glass and industrial features, are still indispensable points of reference. After his emigration to the United States, he influenced the education of architects there and became, along with Mies van der Rohe, a leading proponent of the International Style.

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