PRINT February 1978

Chicago Dialectic

WHEN THE STAATLICHE BAUHAUS, founded in 1919 at Weimar by Walter Gropius, was ultimately closed by the Nazis, it had a second chance in Chicago. On June 6, 1937, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, the former Bauhaus master of the Advanced Foundation Course and a chief proponent of Constructivism, received a wire from a group of prominent Chicago business people which called itself the Association of Arts and Industries.1 Moholy had been recommended by Gropius, then a Harvard professor, whose own ideas during Germany’s post-World War I brief period of identity-seeking had been complemented by Moholy-Nagy’s espousal of pure geometric form as a means of true, basic, clean, association-free communication.2 Sibyl Moholy-Nagy cautioned her husband that these Midwestern industrialists sounded as bad as the German generals.3 But since resigning from the original Bauhaus in 1928, Moholy had been without a home,

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