The theater of the Bauhaus by Oskar Schlemmer, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy and Farkas Molnar ; edited and with an introduction by Walter Gropius ; translated from the German by Arthur S. Wensinger.
Middleton, conn. : Wesleyan University Press, 1961. First edition. Hardcover. 109 pages : illustrations ; 26 cm. $7.50 dust jacket with fading to jacket illustration and lots of small tears around the jacket edges. Pages are unmarked and binding is firm.
IN the plastic arts of the twentieth century, few movements have been more widely and lastingly influential than that which centered around the Bauhaus under the leadership of Walter Gropius. In that vigorous, experimental, forward-looking milieu, no one of the visual arts was neglected; among those that commanded special attention was the art of the theater.
From the Bauhaus experiments there emerged a new aesthetic of stage design and presentation, a new concept of "total theater." Its principles and practices, revolutionary in their time and far in advance of all but the most experimental stagecraft today, were largely the work of Oskar Schlemmer, Laszlo Moholy Nagy, and their students — with the wholehearted encouragement of Mr. Gropius.
One result of their work was the book Die Bühne im Bauhaus ( 1924), in which the theatrical ideas — one might almost say the fundamental aesthetic — of Schlemmer, Moholy-Nagy, and their student Farkas Molnår found their most complete verbal expression. Profusely illustrated, startling in its typography (the work of Moholy-Nagy), it quickly became a collector's item and is now virtually unobtainable.
This volume presents the first version in English of that trail-blazing work, translated from the German by A. S. Wensinger. The text was prepared with the full cooperation of Mr. Gropius; his Introduction was written specially for this edition.
The illustrations, more than seventy in number, merit a special word. In the decades since Die Biihne im Bauhaus was published, the originals have been scattered about the world and some have disappeared. A majority, however, have survived; they appear in these pages. Replacements for those lost have been supplied, in the spirit of the original, by various sources: Frau Tut Schlemmer in Germany and Mrs. Sibyl Moholy-Nagy in America, museums and former Bauhaus students, the files of Mr. Gropius. The typographic scheme is a faithful adaptation of that by Moholy-Nagy.
This volume, then, presents one of the classics of the twentieth century in the most faithful manner that circumstances permit. It is a book that will be cherished by everyone interested in the stage, in modern visual arts, or in those bold steps by which men of genius broaden the horizons of aesthetic experience.
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