Letterform Archive Announces the opening of its FIRST GALLERY with BAUHAUS TYPOGRAPHY exhibition


By thesanfranciscoegotist / /

After 18 months of COVID-enforced remote curation, the internationally esteemed nonprofit museum Letterform Archive (www.letterformarchive.org) is ready to open its new, custom-designed gallery at 2339 Third Street, Floor 4R,in San Francisco’s Dogpatch Cultural District. The inaugural exhibit, Bauhaus Typography at 100, opens on Saturday, November 13, 2021. 

The exhibition, curated by Rob Saunders and Henry Cole Smith, will feature more than 150 pieces from the Archive’s permanent collection, including graphic design by Bauhaus artists such as László Moholy-Nagy, Herbert Bayer, Joost Schmidt, Paul Klee, Wassily Kandinsky, and Johannes Itten.The event will be the city’s first post-COVID grand opening of a cultural institution’s new brick-and-mortar location.

Bauhaus Typography at 100 draws a throughline from the Bauhaus’s iconic style to the shape of typography today. Founded in 1919 by German architect Walter Gropius, the Bauhaus school embraced the tools of mass production in the creation of radical new art. To communicate the school’s vision in print, Bauhaus graphic design had a bold utilitarian look with sans-serif typefaces, asymmetrical layouts, experimental alphabets, and photomontage. Bauhaus Typography at 100 explores the school’s unique legacy in graphic design and typography through artifacts of its own making – its books and magazines, pedagogical and promotional ephemera – as well as objects created by its many luminaries before and after the time of the school. The exhibition also features women, such as Friedl Dicker, whose innovative typographic contributions are often overlooked. Though the school only lasted fourteen years, from 1919 to 1933, its influence endures. 

“We’re excited to share the Archive’s Bauhaus collection, which focuses as much on the earlier, more expressive work as on the better known ‘new typography’ style,” says Curator Rob Saunders. “We’re also really thrilled to unveil our first gallery, with its custom modular panels and vitrines designed to flexibly adapt to a broad range of upcoming exhibits.”

The hardcover exhibition catalog, Bauhaus Typography at 100, features 280 pages with high-fidelity images of objects from the exhibition and an introduction by Bauhaus design expert Ellen Lupton. It will be available at the show as well as online and in bookstores.

To serve the Archive’s global community, Bauhaus Typography at 100 will also be presented as a rich online exhibition designed by Jon Sueda and Chris Hamamoto. Lectures, gallery tours, and other special events – both in-person and online – will accompany the exhibition throughout its run. Complete details will be released on the Archive’s website and through its mailing list.


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