The New Bauhaus Celebrates the Founding of the Institute of Design
By Nuria Sheehan
November 18, 2019
“Moholy believed in the creative potential of each individual, that everybody has some inner talent,” Sibyl Moholy-Nagy, writer and second wife of László Moholy-Nagy, tells us in the documentary The New Bauhaus. A celebration of Moholy-Nagy and the foundation of The New Bauhaus (today’s IIT Institute of Design, or ID), the documentary screened at the Chicago International Film Festival and was selected as a top ten festival pick by the Chicago Sun-Times.
Travis Lee Bean writes in a film review for Forbes:
One of the first faculty members of the Bauhaus in Germany, László Moholy-Nagy left Germany in 1934 after the Nazi regime shuttered the school. Moving to Amsterdam and then London, he settled in Chicago in 1937 to open The New Bauhaus. Moholy-Nagy was enthralled by Chicago. “There’s something incomplete about the city and its people that fascinates me. It seems to urge one on to completion,” he wrote to his wife in 1937. “Everything still seems possible…. Yes, I want to stay.” Moholy-Nagy did in fact stay in Chicago, as The New Bauhaus transformed first into the School of Design, where he continued to pioneer modern design principles and pedagogy.
By drawing extensively on personal archives and interviews with Moholy’s daughter Hattula, the film creates an intimate portrait of this early champion of human-centered design. As Hattula Moholy-Nagy said in a conversation at a recent screening,