Herbert Bayer

Exhibition catalog for German People, German Labor (Deutsches Volk, Deutsche Arbeit)

After the dissolution of the school, former Bauhaus masters Gropius, Schmidt, and Bayer were drawn into the creation of an exhibition commissioned by the Nazis as nationalistic propaganda. Schmidt and Bayer contributed to additional Nazi projects before being blacklisted for working at the Bauhaus.

For Bayer, this work mostly took the form of exhibition catalogs, such as books for the exhibition shown here and the Germany Exhibition, which coincided with the 1936 Olympics in Berlin. (Walter Gropius, Joost Schmidt, and other Bauhauslers were also pressed into contributing to these and similar projects.) While there is no evidence that Bayer was sympathetic to Nazi ideology—his wife and daughter were Jewish, and he considered himself apolitical—his participation remains an uncomfortable part of his legacy. Ultimately, his efforts to remain neutral did not spare him persecution: By 1937, he was out of favor with
the German government, and at least one of his paintings was included in the Nazis’ Degenerate Art Exhibition (Entartete Kunst Ausstellung), a showing of confiscated modernist works.

Lithograph 208 × 208 mm Berlin

208 208

© 2021 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn

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