Art Talk: Picturing the Modern Home—Lucia Moholy’s Bauhaus Living Room

April 1, 2021
BRGA.21.55.A Harvard Art Museums/Busch-Reisinger Museum, Gift of Ise Gropius Lucia Moholy, British, Bauhaus Masters’ Housing, Dessau (Lucia Moholy and László Moholy-Nagy’s Living Room), 1927–28. Gelatin silver print with gouache retouchings. Harvard Art Museums/Busch-Reisinger Museum, Gift of Ise Gropius, BRGA.21.55.A. © Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn.

In 1920s Germany, the progressive Bauhaus school of art, architecture, and design sought to create art, objects, and environments that would revolutionize everyday life. This talk focuses on Lucia Moholy’s carefully constructed photograph of her own living room in one of the newly built Bauhaus faculty residences. In addition to providing housing, the home served as an important publicity tool, showcasing Walter Gropius’s architecture as well as the Bauhaus products with which it was meticulously furnished.

This talk is offered in conjunction with the publication of Object Lessons: The Bauhaus and Harvard, which takes a fresh look at the influential pedagogy and practice pioneered by the Bauhaus.

Art Talks at the Harvard Art Museums is a video series in which curators, conservators, fellows, and graduate students offer an up-close look at works from our collections.

Led by:
Laura Muir, Associate Director of Academic and Public Programs and Louis Miller Thayer Research Curator

Works explored:
Lucia Moholy, British, Bauhaus Masters’ Housing, Dessau (Lucia Moholy and László Moholy-Nagy’s Living Room), 1927–28. Gelatin silver print with gouache retouchings. Harvard Art Museums/Busch-Reisinger Museum, Gift of Ise Gropius, BRGA.21.55.A. © Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn.

Lucia Moholy, British, Bauhaus Building, Dessau, 1926. Gelatin silver prints. Harvard Art Museums/Busch-Reisinger Museum, Gift of Ise Gropius, BRGA.20.24. © Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn.

Lucia Moholy, British, Table Lamp (1924–1925), 1926. Gelatin silver prints. Harvard Art Museums/Busch-Reisinger Museum, Gift of Walter Gropius, BR50.86.B. © Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn.

Walter Gropius, German, Bauhaus Masters Housing, Dessau (Isometric), 1925–26. Black ink and opaque watercolor with traces of graphite on cream wove paper. Harvard Art Museums/Busch-Reisinger Museum, Gift of Walter Gropius, BRGA.21.3. © Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn.