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Paperback | $32.00 Short | £22.95 | ISBN: 9780262611718 | 288 pp. | 7 x 9 in | February 2001

The Bauhaus and America

First Contacts, 1919-1936


Although the Bauhaus existed for a mere fourteen years and boasted fewer than 1,300 students, its influence is felt throughout the world in numerous buildings, artworks, objects, concepts, and curricula. After the Bauhaus's closing in 1933, many of its protagonists moved to the United States, where their acceptance had to be cultivated. In this book Margret Kentgens-Craig shows that the fame of the Bauhaus in America was the result not only of the inherent qualities of its concepts and products, but also of a unique congruence of cultural supply and demand, of a consistent flow of information, and of fine-tuned marketing. Thus the history of the American reception of the Bauhaus in the 1920s and 1930s foreshadows the patterns of fame-making that became typical of the post-World War II art world.

About the Author

Margret Kentgens-Craig is the former Head of the Department of Archives and Collections at the Bauhaus Dessau Foundation, Germany.


“An intelligent book, illuminating the perception of the Bauhaus in the outside world and the contributions of America to the Bauhaus as well as the other way round.”
James DunnettArchitects Journal


“An important book on the history of the modern movement.”
Berthold Burkhardt, Department of Architecture, Technische Universit├Ąt Braunschweig

“In America, perceptions of the German Bauhaus and its role in all this century’s design arts rely more on received myth than studied reality. Margret Kentgens-Craig’s fresh documentation of this yeasty period—of the perception, reception, and Americanization of transforming artistic and cultural ideas—tells the story with clarity and subtlety. She captures the complex interplay of personal attitudes and roles while unraveling phases and faces from which we have evolved.”
Jane F. McCullough Thompson, Thompson Design Group, Bauhaus historian and author

“This book presents a well-rounded picture of Modernism as it emerged in American architecture in the Twenties and Thirties. An impressive roster of names is added to the more familiar ones. Through personal encounters on both sides of the Atlantic, the people discusses in the book disseminated the ideals and ideas of the Bauhaus. The author has gathered impressive evidence, making this book a valuable contribution to Bauhaus literature.”
Sigrid Wortmann Weltge, Professor of the History of Art and Design, Philadelphia College of Textiles and Science