On May 18, 1919, Lyonel Feininger (1871-1956) and Walter Gropius (1883-1969) boarded the train from Berlin to Weimar. Gropius, the founder of the Bauhaus, had appointed Feininger as the first Master in the new school, beginning what Feininger later described as the “finest adventure in my artistic career.” Upon his arrival in Weimar, Feininger was immediately impressed by the school’s building, designed by Henry Clemens van de Velde (1863-1957), and, most of all, by his new studio. The day after his arrival he wrote to his wife, Julia:
"… how shall I begin? Is it possible to experience so much in 12 short hours? ...The most wonderful of all is my new studio…a room on the top floor, about 45 x 45 x 18 feet, and at the skylight a curtain like the giant mainsail of a full-rigged ship, adjustable in every direction – and the view! Over the gardens, over the roofs of the whole town out to the mountains – here I shall be able to work…I am very happy indeed! Dear good Gropius, he appointed this studio to me right away. I have been all over the school with him, and I have also seen the printing-shop, marvelous – here we shall be as if in a painter’s heaven."
Feininger later became head of the Bauhaus printing workshop, and when the school moved to Dessau in 1925 he soon followed as a Master without any teaching obligations. It was only in 1933, when the Nazis searched his house in Dessau, that his Bauhaus adventure came to a forced and abrupt end.
On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Bauhaus, it is my pleasure to present Lyonel Feininger: Visions of City and Sea, showcasing paintings, watercolors, drawings, and woodcutsby Feininger from this important period in his artistic career.
Achim Moeller, May 2019