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Stuff We Love

Three Bauhaus Women Who Were Full-Blown Badasses

Stuff We Love BY katie nave freeman 07/16/2019

Florence Henri image via The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Lindsey Reif, the brains behind the Portland-based brand Reifhaus, is a sucker for contemporary lines and compelling details, both hallmarks of the Bauhaus creative movement, which encouraged interwar-period students and teachers to pursue their crafts together in workshops and design studios. Specifically, Lindsey is drawn to the work of three visionary, original women of the period. “The female artists from the Bauhaus era could do it all—weaving, furniture, product design, pottery, photography, and painting,” she explains, and she’s here to share the impressive details.  

 

MARIANNE BRANDT

Image via The Metropolitan Museum of Art 

“I love the work of Marianne Brandt. She was a multidisciplinary artist and design powerhouse best known for her metalwork. She took on the challenge of redesigning everyday objects, like a stovetop coffee maker or a dustpan, and made them both functional and attractive. She also designed lighting, furniture, and dishes and was an accomplished painter and photographer. I love that there was a practical, tactile application to much of her work. I find that is true with my own design process—I think a lot about the practicality of a garment, not only in the present moment, but also how it will fare over time from a design perspective.”

 

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FLORENCE HENRI

Image via The Metropolitan Museum of Art 

“Another favorite is Florence Henri, a photographer known for her unusual self-portraits and still lifes that combined elements of cubism and modernism that she learned from her time as a painter, prior to entering the Bauhaus school. Her work embodies a feeling I want the people who wear my clothing to have—confident and feminine on their own terms. My designs are not frilly, there is an inherent strength and elegance to the clean lines and color palettes that I use that is meant to enhance the wearer, not overshadow them.”

 

ANNI ALBERS

Image via The Metropolitan Museum of Art 

“I’m very interested in the weavings of Anni Albers, who blurred the line between fine art and traditional craft.  Weaving is very interesting to me because it's a very ancient form of art that also has a lot of function. Not only is it used in for textiles, but weaving has also been utilized in many cultures as a form of language and communication. I am a firm believer that the items we use every day should be functional and effortless, but they can also be beautiful and remain beautiful as trends come and go.”

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