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ARTH 211 Week 4 Lecture and Reading Notes

by: Evelyn Li

ARTH 211 Week 4 Lecture and Reading Notes ARTH 211

Marketplace > University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign > Art History > ARTH 211 > ARTH 211 Week 4 Lecture and Reading Notes
Evelyn Li
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About this Document

These notes cover lectures and readings (Marinetti, Meggs, Van Doesburg) from Week 4. We talk about design from before and after World War I, primarily Bauhaus.
Design History Survey
Class Notes
Design, history, bauhaus, Destijl, WWI, futurism, Walter Gropius, Weimar Republic, Fordism, Industry, Moholy-Nagy, Constructivism
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This 9 page Class Notes was uploaded by Evelyn Li on Saturday September 17, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to ARTH 211 at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign taught by Weissman in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 71 views. For similar materials see Design History Survey in Art History at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.


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Date Created: 09/17/16
Week 4: Before and After WWI LECTURES 9.12.16  Themes o Responses to Industry and Mass Production (new strategies for production)  Standardization and modern design (fewer models and new proudcts)  Ford Model-T o Taylorism/Fordism o Importance of style in the public realm o Weimar Republic – Responses to Industry, Mass Production and Political Landscape  Deutscher Werkbund (DWB)  Bauhaus  From preindustrial craft to industrial design (from “craft” to “industry”)  Names/Terms o Scientific Management  Taylorism, Fordism o Frederick Taylor o Henry Ford o Planned obsolescence o Creative destruction o Alfred P. Sloan Jr. o Weimar Germany (1919-1933) o Walter Gropius o Hannes Meyer o Ludwig Meis van der Rohe o Laszlo Moholy-Nagy o Joos Schmidt o Herbert Bayer o Marcel Breuer o Lyonel Feininger o Haus am Horm o Marianne Brandt o Wassily Kandinsky  Taylorism (continuation of last lecture on responses to industry/mass production) o Experiments conducted by Frederick Taylor who was trying to increase productivity  Desks for typists—what is the position/situation in which the most words per minute are produced? o Taylorism: principles of scientific management o Taylor’s studies reinforced a connection between a division of labor and efficiency  Ford Model-T o Henry Ford developed the moving assembly line (for his cars) o You are selling your time, NOT your skill in an assembly line o The benefit is that there is an enormous increase in output o Ford’s workers are paid really well o This is standardization of production but also of consumer options  “You can have it in any color as long as it’s black.” ~ Ford o The moving assembly line made is possible for Ford to reduce the price of his car o An enormous growth in people who owned cars ensued due to the efficiency of the moving assembly line  Style/Design o Style in public space becomes important in the 1920s  This hurts Ford’s business which enforced standardization; he is challenged by Chevrolet  Design becomes a critical component of a commodity’s success o Alfred Sloan  Created a flexible system of mass production  He understood that design was important (made a whole color department)  He is credited to be the first to implement planned obsolescence (annual/seasonal introduction of new colors, patterns and forms that make existing industrial products appear outmoded and encourages consumers to purchase the latest and most modern) o People want a distinction between objects at home and products at work  Scientific Management o Christine Frederick  Advocate of scientific management in the home ~ (new lecture) ~  Weimar Republic o What: The brief period of democracy between the German Empire and National Socialism o When: 1919-1933 o A lot of wildness (drugs, alcohol, party culture) o A lot of creativity  Bauhaus and DWB o Bauhaus has similar ideals to the DWB; Bauhaus grew out of the DWB o Bauhaus is favored by history unlike the DWB  Timing – it corresponds exactly with the Weimar Republic  Self-promotional—Bauhaus advertised itself freely  Museum of Modern Art in NYC (MOMA) – MOMA promoted/supported Bauhaus publically  MOMA website: During the 1920s and 30s there was a “growing ethos that aesthetically pleasing, functional objects should be available to everyone, not just an elite few. Designers began to reject excessive ornamentation, instead of shifting toward more simplified and geometric shape.” (Bauhaus/DWB concepts) o Bauhaus and DWB is utopian  Harmony existing in abstraction could better society  The goal of Bauhaus was to transform modern life through design (more specific that the DWB)  Bauhaus o Bauhaus is a state-funded school of design  Multiple locations  1919-1924 Weimar  1925-1932 Dessau  1932-1933 Berlin  Directors  1919-1928 Walter Gropius  1928-1930 Hannes Meyer  1930-1933 Mies van der Rohe o 1933—closed permanently in Germany due to the rise of Hitler and National Socialism o Walter Gropius  He wanted to “breathe into products a soul” yet he also was all about art and technology o Bauhaus’ aesthetic was clean and geometric o Before 1923, Bauhaus is pretty expressive and encourages individuality o But in 1923, Lazlo Moholy Nagy is hired as a professor by Walter Gropius  Moholy Nagy crushes expressive individuality; it all disappears  He makes Bauhaus a prototyping school  He de-emphasizes the creative process  He emphasized photography  Instant communication o Posters should have the clarity that just a person looking at it should know what it is saying immediately  Closer to industry o Bauhaus starts fighting with the government and having political problems o In 1924, all the faculty resign but they move to a different location (Dessau) and so begins the second age of Bauhaus o Eventually Ludwig Mies van der Rohe takes over o Bauhaus is registering a historical contradiction  The contradiction of embracing of technology and the mysticism of expression/craft/individuality  Each reaction is a response to two Germanys—one that had just lost WWI and looked to the past for strength vs. one of the current fragile republic that had desperate need to industrialize  Maholy Nagy vs. Kandinsky 9.14.16  Themes: Utopian Dreams o Bauhaus (Germany) (1919-1933) o Destijl (the Netherlands) (1917-1931)  Universal laws of harmony o Constructivism (Russian/Soviet Union) (1913-1940s)  The Constructivist Dream  Art into life  Unity of art and industry  A new social order  The Productivist Reality  Names/Terms o Piet Mondrian o Gerrit Rietveld o Theo van Does burg o El Lissitasky o Alexandre Rodchenko o Varvara Stepanova o Vladimir Tatlin o Constructivism/Productivism o Art into life o Faktura  Bauhaus o Nazi shuts down Bauhaus when they start to take over because they see it as a threat o Maholy wanted to revolutionize human perception to enable society to better apprehend the modern technical world  Destijl o “Let me give you some examples of the characteristics of the new style…certainty vs. uncertainty, mechanization vs. manual labor, clarity vs. vagueness…. etc.” ~ The Will to Style o Emphasis on…  Primary colors: red, yellow, blue  Verticality and horizontality  Negative and positive space o Comparison with DWB  Underlying geometric grid o Theo van Doesburg  Huge fan of Dadaism (Kurt Schwitters)  Thought it was liberating  Thought that Dadaism wreck the old design order, and Destijl will rebuild and be the new order o Destijl designers were concerned with the spiritual climate of their time o They wanted to expunge the old age o Gerrit Rietveld, The Schröder House, (1924-1925)  Everything in the house was elevated to art  Like walking into a painting  The distinction between life and art disappear  Neighbors hated it and the people who lived in it were mocked ruthlessly o Wanted to make things inexpensive to be mass produced o Rietveld Chair  The goal was the comfort of the spirit not of your actual body  (Russian) Constructivism o Occurred during/after the October Revolution o Wanted to…  Remove art from its privileged place in society  Integrate art and life  Use the tools/materials of modern industry (real material, real space)  Become engineers not just collaborate with them o Four qualities of Constructivism  Faktura (materials)  Construction over composition  Dynamism  Activate space o Vladimir Tatlin  Tatlin, Counter Relief, 1917  Example of construction over composition  Tatlin, Model for Monument to Third International, 1919-20  His vision for the building wanted it to be a slanting tower of steel and glass that was 1300 ft. tall (taller than the Eiffel Tower)– not even enough material in Russia to create such a structure  It was an impossible building to construct  Dynamic  Idea of the dreams of constructivism READINGS F.T. Marinetti, “The Founding and Manifesto of Futurism” (1909)  Uses very descript, energetic, poetic language throughout the passage  The Story o Marinetti and his friends stay up all night trying to write a manifesto until they hear “the roar of automobiles” at which point they leave their “frenzied scribbling” to race their cars o They race them, chasing after a metaphorical “Death” as they drive o Marinetti crashes his car and turns over into a ditch, but his car recovers and he starts to race again  The Manifesto o Beginning Statements  Love of danger, energy, and fearlessness  Key elements of courage, audacity, and revolt  The declaration of the beauty of speed materialized in the automobile  There is only beauty in struggle  Great work can only be achieved aggressively and violently  Glorification of war, militarism, patriotism, and destruction  Declaration of the destruction of museums, libraries, academies, moralism, and feminism o This revolution will begin in Italy and will be called Futurism o Museums are “cemeteries” and “graveyards”  Should only be visited once on annual pilgrimage but that is all  They poison and rot artists  “What is there to see in an old picture except the laborious contortions of an artist throwing himself against the barriers that thwart his desire to express his dream completely?” o As they (the founders) grow old and lose their youth and strength, those of a younger generation will rise up and destroy them (which is what they want) o “Art…can be nothing but violence, cruelty, and injustice.” Theo van Doesburg, “The Will to Style” (1922)  Van Doesburg was a Dutch painter, designer, architect , theorist and founder of the avant-garde magazine De Stijl (literally translated “the style”) o He was concerned with the “rational, essential, and universal aspects of art and life” o This except is from a lecture he gave in 1922 about the “new style”  It’s important to consider the “application of the machine to the new style” (the point where the two development lines of the technical and the artistic meet)  The machine is an expression of art and hand craftsmanship in an age of progress; however, to create art the machine must be governed by an artistic consciousness  The machine provides the “constructive certainty” we need o It will produce a style of “liberation and vital repose”  Characteristics of the new style o Certainty instead of uncertainty o Openness instead of enclosure o Clarity instead of vagueness o Truth instead of beauty o Simplicity instead of complexity o Collectivism instead of individuality o ...etc.  “The beauty of machinery is the very core of inspiration for the newest generation of artists.”  The merging of art and life signifies the “spiritual reconstruction of Europe” Phillip Meggs, “The Bauhaus and the New Typography,” History of Graphic Design  Introduction o Bauhaus is born in the years after WWI in 1919 directed by Walter Gropius o Gropius sought a unity of art and technology  Bauhaus at Weimar o Visionary and drew from expressionism o Utopian desire to create a “new spiritual society” o Paul Klee and Wassily Kandinsky introduced new advanced ideas about form, color, and space o Johannes Itten  The “heart of Bauhaus education”  Sought to develop students’ understanding of materials and teach the fundamentals of design  Left in 1922 over disagreement about the conduct of his course o Started to move from medievalism/expressionism/handicraft to rationalism and the machine o Was introduced in 1919 to De Stijl, which shared similar aims with Bauhaus, and Theo Van Doesburg (De Stijl artists) became an important influence  Impact of Laszlo Maholy-Nagy o Itten was replaced with Maholy-Nagy, an artist who explored painting, photography, film, sculpture, and graphic design o Typography is “communication in it’s most intense form...the emphasis must be on clarity/legibility.” ~ Maholy Nagy o Emphasis on linear direction o Explored visual communication, especially in the relationship between typography and photography  “Typephotos” created immediate communication  Used photography as a tool for design, manipulating light, shadow, and interesting perspectives  Bauhaus at Dessau o Tension rose between Bauhaus and the government so the faculty resigned and the students wrote the government that they would leave with their professors. Bauhaus moved to Dessau in 1924. o Prominent influence of De Stijl but Bahau was still unique o The magazine Bauhausbücher (Bauhaus books) helped spread ideas about design and architecture  Kandinsky, Klee, Gropius, Moholy-Nagy, and Van Doesburg were all editors/authors/designers of the series o Former students Josef Albers, Marcel Breuer, and Herbert Bayer were appointed masters  Bayer make typographic innovations, employing sans-serif fonts almost exclusively and developing a universal type without capital letters (form following function)  The Final Years of Bauhaus o In 1928, Gropius resigned, Bayer and Maholy-Nagy left for Berlin, and Hannes Meyer took over as director but it was short-lived due to conflicts with municipal authorities o Ludwig Mies van der Rohe became director after Meyer around 1930 o In 1933, the Nazi party dissolved Bauhaus  Bauhaus’ influence stretched across architecture, product design, and visual communication. “In dissolving fine and applied art boundaries, the Bauhaus tried to bring art into close relationship with life by way of design.” ~~  Jan Tschichold and The New Typography o Tschichold was the one who applied the theories that Bauhaus and other modern art movements developed to everyday design problems o Advocated new ideas of asymmetrical typography to express the “spirit, life, and visual sensibility of the day” o Believed in straightforward, functional design--typography should be delivered in the shortest and most efficient way o Shed decoration in favor of rational design yet still believed in “spiritual content and beauty”  Type should be dynamic (set in motion) but without embellishment  Sans-serif and ranging weights of type were important  Horizontal and vertical structure with intentional spatial intervals o Tschichold was arrested by the Nazis in 1933 and was held in “protective custody” for six years. After he was released he moved to Switzerland with his family and worked as a book designer.  Here he turned away from the new typography, which had been a reaction against the chaos in Germany, and instead began to use roman and script styles o Much of his later work used symmetrical organization and serif fonts and even endorsed some occasional ornamental font  Typeface Design in the First Half of the Twentieth Century o Sans-serif fonts rose in the 1920s in the wake of the new typography o Eric Gill  Work has spiritual value and the artist “serves the human need for beauty and dignity”  Created Perpetua font and the Gill Sans font  Introduced the concept of unequal line lengths in text type o Times New Roman  Created by Stanley Morison for the newspaper the Times of London  Became extremely popular for its legibility and visual qualities  The Isotype Movement o Isotype = pictograph (“a world language without words”)  Conveying information without words o Began in the 1920s continued to the 1940s and still has influence today o Began with Otto Neurath  Developed the idea in response to the aftermath of WWI in an effort for clear communication to the public about important social issues  Focuses on statistical data  Functional not decorative (influenced by the new typography movement) o Originally called the Vienna Method but came to known as Isotype (International System of Typographic Picture Education) o Produced at first by drawing or cutting out from paper but eventually began to be made through type-high letterpress line blocks o Formalized pictorial language  The Prototype for the Modern Map o Henry Beck  The London Underground commissioned him to make a map of the system  Hand-lettered 2400 characters of Johnston’s Railway Type  He developed a functional map that was so successful that it was implemented in many variations around the world  Independent Voices in the Netherlands o Dutch designers were influenced by modern movements but found their own unque style o Piet Zwart  Combined the contradictory elements of Dadaism and De Stijl  Created dynamic layouts without the restrictions of being professionally trained in typography  Favored brief slogans and large letters to avoid having to wade through huge amounts of information o Hendrik N Werkman  Experimented with print type and ink for purely artistic expression  Executed by the Nazis and most of his work was destroyed o Paul Schuitema  Organized his designs horizontally, vertically, and diagonally  Combined typography with photography o William Sandberg  Employed the new typography in his world  Experimented and played with typography; enjoyed strong contrast, bright colors, and free movement  New Approaches to Photography o The new typography emphasized direct communication and the camera was essential to making the images that created that straightforward message o Herbert Matter  Designed posters that used montage, dynamic scale changes, am effective integration of typography and illustration o Walter Herdeg  Selection and cropping of photos created design quality


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