Bauhaus Ulm: From Peterhans to Maldonado
100 years after the founding of the Bauhaus, the HfG archive looks back on the years between 1953 and 1958. During this time, the basic teaching at the Hochschule für Gestaltung Ulm (HfG) was marked by pedagogical ideas that the Bauhaus had developed for its preliminary course.
Max Bill, co-founder and architect of the school building, had succeeded with Inge Aicher-Scholl and Otl Aicher in winning the former Bauhausers Walter Peterhans, Josef Albers, Helene Nonné-Schmidt and Johannes Itten as lecturers for the HfG Ulm.
It soon became apparent that the younger lecturers would reject a Bauhaus successor. This also applies to the basic teaching, for which Tomás Maldonado conceived a “visual methodology”.
The HfG archive’s stock of basic teaching work is unique in the world. On the occasion of the Bauhaus anniversary, it presents a generous selection, supplemented by documents, photographs and models, which illustrate the methods and goals of this crucial training year for many.
The exhibition is interested in the question of what idea of the Bauhaus was conveyed at the HfG Ulm and what the students learned about it. Unlike today, the Bauhaus in Dessau 1953, the founding year of the HfG Ulm, was not a brilliantly restored monument or a tourist magnet, but almost a ruin.
The choice of name also points to the numerous references to the Bauhaus. “Hochschule für Gestaltung” was the second name of the State Bauhaus in Dessau, which had attained university status with the move from Weimar to Dessau. Walter Gropius gave Bill permission to use this designation for Ulm. But Bill thought further: Since he knew of the efforts of others to use the name Bauhaus, he suggested in a letter to Inge Aicher-Scholl to choose the name “Bauhaus” for Ulm. The exhibition of the HfG archive owes its title “Bauhaus Ulm” to this fact.