Aspen Institute to Dedicate New Center to Herbert Bayer

John Hill
8. August 2019
Photo: Dan Bayer

Colorado's Aspen Institute has announced the establishment of the Resnick Center for Herbert Bayer Studies, which will be dedicated to the career of the prolific Bauhaus designer who moved to Aspen in the 1940s.

The announcement comes with news of a $10 million donation by Lynda and Stewart Resnick enabling the Center's creation. Per the Aspen Institute's August 3rd announcement, the new Resnick Center for Herbert Bayer Studies "will allow the Institute to preserve and honor the art of Bayer, who designed the Institute’s historic campus and whose prolific work represents the fullest expression of the Bauhaus movement in America."

Bayer studied at the Bauhaus from 1921 to 1925 and a junior master at the Dessau Bauhaus from 1925 to 1928. "The commercial typography he designed for the Bauhaus," per the Bauhaus 100 website, "was a defining feature of the Dessau period and hugely enhanced the popularity of the School of Design."

Bayer emigrated to the United States in 1938, the same year he designed the Bauhaus: 1919–1928 exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York. Although known primarily as an artist and graphic designer, in Aspen the versatile Bayer also served as an architect. There he was responsible for, among other things, the Aspen Institute's executive seminar building, completed in 1953 with architect Fritz Benedict.

Bayer's influence was explored in Gwen Chanzit's book, From Bauhaus To Aspen: Herbert Bayer And Modernist Design In America, but the new Resnick Center for Herbert Bayer Studies will allow the Institute to go further. Per the announcement, the Resnick Center will "showcase and exhibit its Bayer works, grow its collection, borrow from major cultural institutions, and create new exhibitions that will educate the public about Bayer’s remarkable legacy."

Completion of the Resnick Center for Herbert Bayer Studies is planned for 2022. Though the announcement does not mention who is designing the Center, it does hint that it will be "architecturally aligned with the rest of the grounds" and "bring to fruition Bayer’s vision of the campus as a total work of art."

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