Back to Calendar

Film by Design: Bauhaus and the Moving Image, Part 2

Filmstrip of stills from Neues Wohnen (Haus Gropius). Humboldt-Film GmbH, Berlin-Wilmersdorf, Jahr: 1926–28. Courtesy of Bauhaus-Archiv Berlin.


Harvard Art Museums, 32 Quincy Street
Cambridge MA

In conjunction with our special exhibition The Bauhaus and Harvard, this film series will reconstruct how Bauhäusler (students and faculty at the Bauhaus) actively engaged with moving images between 1919 and 1933. They created abstract animations, lightplays, architectural films, and short documentaries; they invited avant-garde filmmakers to present their work at the Bauhaus; they organized frequent film screenings at Bauhaus festivities; and they even made a series of material experiments with filmstrips across several Bauhaus courses and workshops.

Oriented around three crucial “film years” at the Bauhaus—1923, 1926, and 1929—each of the programs in the series includes films that were either made at the Bauhaus in this period or shown at the Bauhaus in the context of pivotal festivities: the Bauhaus Week in Weimar in 1923, the inauguration of the Bauhaus Dessau in 1926, and the famous Metal Party in 1929. Before each screening, Laura Frahm, associate professor of visual and environmental studies at Harvard, will shed light on how film became a crucial factor across the different Bauhaus workshops and will trace the often surprising experiments with film that form part of the vivid cinematic imagination at the Bauhaus. Together, the programs serve as a seismograph of the Bauhaus’s cinematic visions and provide a cross-section of Bauhäuslers’ engagement with film.

Complementary programs at the Harvard Film Archive will focus on the role of female filmmakers from the Bauhaus (on March 11) and will offer a survey of film experiments at the New Bauhaus in Chicago and beyond (on April 22). For more information, visit the Harvard Film Archive website.

About this program:

Inaugural Festivities, Bauhaus Dessau, December 1926

The screening at the inauguration of the Bauhaus Dessau reflected how the newly fueled fascination with an “architectural film” evolved in close dialogue with the cinematic study of the transformation of form. Featuring the premiere of Walter Gropius’s “Bauhaus film,” a multipart documentary that captured the newly built architectural ensemble of the Bauhaus in Dessau in motion, tonight’s program will include the microscopic studies of crystals that were shown alongside Gropius’s film as well as cinematic form sequences by two Bauhäusler, Heinrich Brocksieper and Kurt Kranz, that emerged in the months following the Dessau inauguration.

The screening will take place in Menschel Hall, Lower Level. Please enter the museums via the entrance on Broadway. Doors will open at 5:30pm.

Free admission, but seating is limited. Tickets will be distributed beginning at 5:30pm at the Broadway entrance. One ticket per person.

Tonight’s program serves as the keynote for Bauhaus 100: Object Lessons from a Historic Collection, a symposium at the Harvard Art Museums on Friday, March 29. Following the program, guests are invited to visit the Bauhaus and Harvard exhibition on Level 3 until 8pm.

Complimentary parking available in the Broadway Garage, 7 Felton Street, Cambridge.
Support for this program is provided by the Richard L. Menschel Endowment Fund.

Support for the Bauhaus exhibition is provided by endowed funds, including the Daimler Curatorship of the Busch-Reisinger Museum Fund, the Charles L. Kuhn Endowment Fund, and the Care of the Busch-Reisinger Museum Collection Fund. In addition, modern and contemporary art programs at the Harvard Art Museums are made possible in part by generous support from the Emily Rauh Pulitzer and Joseph Pulitzer, Jr., Fund for Modern and Contemporary Art.