Modernists Abroad

Bauhaus School; Dessau, Germany

Barr and Johnson both visited the Dessau Bauhaus, which provided guiding principles for their work at the Museum of Modern Art and shaped their own taste. Barr visited once in 1927, and Johnson made repeated visits between 1929 and 1933. In addition to touring the school building designed by Gropius in 1925, they visited the “masters” in their houses nearby.

Wilhelm Wagenfeld’s classic table lamp, seen below and at right, exemplifies the geometry and functionality typical of the Bauhaus. In an interior photograph of László Moholy-Nagy’s living room, we see the lamp standing on a table at the center. Wagenfeld reduced the lamp form to its basic “simple elements: the sphere, cylinder, cube and cone.”

© Estate of Lucia Moholy / SOCAN (2019).

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The collection
Table lamp resting on a circular glass base which supports a cylindrical shaped clear glass shaft through which the electrical cord is threaded in a metal tube to reach the socket.  A spherical glass globe of opaque glass cut at the base to accommodate the electric bulb rests on a metal ring. A pull chain switch is attached to the socket.
Designed by
Wilhelm Wagenfeld (1900–1990) © ARS, NY and Carl Jakob Jucker (1902–1997)
Chromium-plated metal, glass
Produced by
Bauhaus Metal Workshop, Dessau, Germany
45.7 x 20.3 x 20.3 cm

© Estate of Wilhelm Wagenfeld / SOCAN (2019).