Lecture Bauhaus 100th Anniversary: Women of Modernism

Weaving Class on the Bauhaus Stairway in Dessau 1927/28 Weaving Class on the Bauhaus Stairway in Dessau 1927/28 © Public Domain

Tue, 11/05/2019

6:30 PM - 9:30 PM

Royal Ontario Museum

Keynote by Dr. Regina Bittner, Bauhaus Dessau:

"Women of Modernism: Expanding the Bauhaus Canon"

Co-presented by the Goethe-Institut & the Royal Ontario Museum
Regina Bittner is a guest of the Goethe-Institut

Celebrate the centenary of the famed Bauhaus school with Regina Bittner, director of the Bauhaus Dessau Foundation, as she explores the lives and works of prominent female alumnae who made their careers in London during the 1930s, including Edith Tudor-Hart and Margaret Leischner. Often underrepresented in Bauhaus histories, the careers of these prominent women serve as a point of departure to discuss the transgressive gender roles at the Avantgarde School in Dessau – a place where gender and aesthetic emancipation were deeply interwoven.  

The photographer Edith Tudor-Hart  captured the very moment of the opening of the ISOKON Buildling in London on 9 July 1934, when two women – Rosemary Pritchard, a director of Isokon Ltd, and Thelma Cazalet, member of the British parliament – cast a bottle of beer against the bow of the entrance arcade, a ceremony very much in the tradition of christening a ship. The modern service apartment house became a temporary home for such prominent emigrees like Walter and Ise Gropius or Marcel Breuer. 
Edith Tudor-Hart had studied at the Bauhaus as well, but did not belong to the predominantly male circle of prominent emigrees in London in the 1930s. Similar to Margaret Leischner, a weaver from the Bauhaus, those women made their career in the British capital. The lecture takes their London careers after the Bauhaus as a point of departure to discuss the striving for transgressing gender roles at the avantgarde school in Dessau as a place where gender and aesthetic emancipation where deeply interwoven.       

Regina Bittner (PhD) studied cultural theory and art history at Leipzig University and received her doctorate from the Institute for European Ethnology at the Humboldt Universität zu Berlin. As head of the Academy of the Bauhaus Dessau Foundation she is responsible for the conceptualisation and teaching of the postgraduate programme for design and global modernism studies, the Bauhaus Lab and the COOP Design Research programme. Since 2018 she has held a professorship for Art History at the Martin Luther University Halle. The main focal points of her work in research and teaching are architecture and design theory and history, the modern era and migration, the cultural history of modernism and heritage studies. Her most recent curatorial and publication projects include 'Craft becomes modern. The Bauhaus in the making' (in collaboration with Renee Padt 2017),  'In Reserve: The Household! Historic Models and Contemporary Positions from the Bauhaus' (in collaboration with Elke Krasny) and  'The Bauhaus in Calcutta. An Encounter of the Cosmopolitan Avant-garde' (in collaboration with Kathrin Rhomberg, 2013).

The Lecture will take place in the ROM's Eaton Theatre, followed by an informal reception in the ROM's Theatre Rotunda.

Doors open: 6:30pm, Lecture: 7-8pm

Tickets will be available for purchase starting 24 September through the ROM.

Part of the Goethe-Institut focus on Bauhaus100.