About the exhibition

Herbert Bayer: Bauhaus Master marks the centenary of the founding of the Bauhaus in Weimer, Germany, in 1919 and features rare works by the groundbreaking 20th-century graphic designer Herbert Bayer. On view in the second-floor permanent collection galleries from Nov. 16 through April 5, 2020, the exhibition follows Bayer’s role as both student and teacher at the Bauhaus, as well as his illustrious career in the United States following his 1938 emigration.

In a vintage advertisement for a magazine, a model wearing ruby-red lipstick tousles her blonde hair. The form of her polished curls is amplified in a colorful abstract montage of pale blue, white, orange, and black circles. The circles overlap to create a figure "8." TExt: Noreen Super Color Rinse is the choice of women who take pride in their appearance... happy, successful women with careers in business, the professions, public life, and society... all determined to look their best. Noreen, simply, easily applied, gives the hair distinction with new beauty. It doesn't over-do, but retains the natural look while imparting fresh color and lustre... blending out distressing imperfections. Choose from 14 glamorous shades to keep your hair faultlessly lovely.

Print, Noreen Super Color Rinse, ca. 1953; Designed by Herbert Bayer; Offset lithograph; Collection of Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

Born in Austria and active in Germany and the U.S., Bayer (1900–1985) was a student and teacher at the Bauhaus, where he helped define a new language of graphic design suited to modern life. Charting his stylistic shifts and theoretical contributions, Herbert Bayer: Bauhaus Master highlights Bayer’s interest in typography and photography, design theory, information design, fashion and beauty, and poster design, as well as his corporate work.

A big blue eye widened in surprise. Underneath the eye is drawn a diagram of a camera lucida focused at a sculpture (classical male bust) on a plinth.

ooklet pages, Das Wunder des Lebens (The Miracle of Life), 1935; Designed by Herbert Bayer; Gravure; Collection of Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

Herbert Bayer: Bauhaus Master will feature information graphics, books, advertising, posters, ephemera, and magazine layouts for diverse clients. Many works on view will be drawn from a trove of more than 500 pieces documenting Bayer’s career in the U.S., recently acquired to the Cooper Hewitt collection through a gift from the Taub Foundation.  Key works from the Bauhaus period are on loan from the collection of Merrill C. Berman.

The exhibition is organized by Ellen Lupton, senior curator of contemporary design, Cooper Hewitt.