Bauhaus Textile, n.d. Photographer unknown. Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center Permanent Collection. Gift of Regi Weile.

It’s a story that is becoming more and more well known: female students, hoping to study art, design, and architecture, flocked to the Bauhaus when it opened its doors in 1933. Walter Gropius, when faced with this influx of female students, made the decision to limit their areas of study away from “heavy crafts” which included woodworking, metalsmithing, architecture, and painting. What these women were offered instead were places in the weaving workshop, where they carried with them all of their ambitions and drive towards innovation.

The weaving workshop arose as a subversive space where students and faculty would reconsider fiber arts and bring it into the conversation of modern art and design. The most famous of these students is Anni Albers, who brought what she learned with her to Black Mountain College when the Bauhaus was forced to close in 1933. However, Albers is not the only student of note. In this blog post, we’re taking a look at two of her fellow students in the Bauhaus weaving workshop, who each left their mark on the history of art and design.

 

Trude Guermonprez

Nancy Newhall, Trude Guermonprez BMC, c. 1948. Courtesy of the Western Regional Archives.

Anni Albers was not the only Bauhaus weaver to teach at Black Mountain College. Trude Guermonprez was the daughter of musicologist and opera conductor Dr. Heinrich Jalowetz and bookbinder and voice teacher Jalima Jalowetz. In 1933, Dr. and Mrs. Jalowetz immigrated to the United States from Germany to serve as faculty at the newly established Black Mountain College. Their daughter, Trude, who had studied weaving at the Bauhaus, chose to stay in Europe. Fate intervened, with her husband dying on D-Day in 1944 and her father passing away a few years later. Following these tragedies, Trude’s family asked her to join them at Black Mountain College. It just so happened that her arrival coincided with one of Anni Albers’ sabbaticals. Anni asked Trude to take over leadership of the weaving studio in her absence, bringing with her immense talent, knowledge, and understanding of design. When the Albers returned, Trude was asked to stay on as a full-time faculty member, teaching weaving until the department’s dissolution in 1949. ⁣

 

Corona (Korona) Krause

When designing a modern world, one must dress for the occasion. An iconic image from the Bauhaus shows a woman in a Marcel Breuer club chair, wearing an Oskar Schlemmer mask. What is often not mentioned is her dress which, with its minimal lines and functional design, perfectly compliments not only modern aesthetics but modern life.

A woman in a Breuer club chair, wearing an Oskar Schlemmer mask, circa 1926.© Estate of Erich ConsemÜller

The dress in question was designed by Corona (Korona) Krause who studied weaving alongside fellow student Anni Albers. Through integrating natural and synthetic materials, textiles became a site of innovation and exploration, opening up new functional and theoretical possibilities. ⠀

Korona Krause, balance study (Bauhaus), circa 1924. Photographer unknown. Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center Permanent Collection. Gift of Regi Weile.

Included in our summer 2019 exhibition BAUHAUS 100 was a photograph of a balance study created by Krause in 1924 when she was only 18 years old. Likely an assignment for the Preliminary Course that Josef Albers would later adapt to Black Mountain College, Krause’s sculpture utilizes natural and mechanically produced materials that create a form that is balanced both literally and visually. This principle is one that she applied to her work in textiles as well.⠀

Follow this link to more about Krause and her innovations in textile design and weaving: The Case of Corona Krause: Textiles as a Spatial Apparatus, Matina Kousidi