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of desiGn

Moholy-Nagy and the New Bauhaus

January 19, 2017
5:30-7:30pm CST
IIT Institute of Design
565 West Adams Street
Chicago, IL 60661

The German Bauhaus is often celebrated for impacting the design of our modern world. A fundamental member of the Bauhaus was Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, who shaped design education as well as photography, film and communication design. In 1937, Moholy-Nagy came to the United States to open the New Bauhaus, now the Institute of Design.

The Art Institute of Chicago recently hosted the first major retrospective of Moholy-Nagy’s contribution to Art and Design. Elizabeth Siegel, Curator of Photography, will present on Moholy-Nagy and the founding of the New Bauhaus in Chicago, examining how the combination of Bauhaus pedagogy, avant-garde aesthetics, and American industrialism shaped a school that may be considered his complete work of art.

About the speaker

Elizabeth Siegel is Curator of Photography at the Art Institute of Chicago. She was the co-curator of the landmark exhibition Taken by Design: Photography at the Institute of Design, 1937–1971 and contributed an essay about Moholy-Nagy in Chicago to the recent retrospective’s exhibition catalogue; she is also contributing to the forthcoming Leonardo issue on Moholy-Nagy. 

Among her recent exhibitions are Alfred Stieglitz and the Nineteenth CenturyShatter Rupture Break, an exhibition bringing together modern work from across the Art Institute; Abelardo Morell: The Universe Next Door, a retrospective that traveled to the J. Paul Getty Museum and High Museum of Art; Ralph Eugene Meatyard: Dolls and Masks, which traveled to the de Young Museum, San Francisco, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art; and Playing with Pictures: The Art of Victorian Photocollage, which traveled to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, and the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto. Besides catalogues accompanying several of those exhibitions, other books include Taken by Design and Galleries of Friendship and Fame: A History of Nineteenth-Century American Photograph Albums. She is currently working on an exhibition on the Art Institute curator Hugh Edwards. Siegel has contributed writing and scholarship to numerous publications and actively participates as a panelist, lecturer, and reviewer on a wide variety of photographic subjects.

Image: László Moholy-Nagy. A 19, 1927. Hattula Moholy-Nagy, Ann Arbor, Michigan. © 2016 Hattula Moholy-Nagy/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.