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Object Timeline

-0001

1927

  • Work on this object began.

2010

2011

  • We acquired this object.

2015

2019

  • You found it!

Drawing, Design for a Jacquard Woven Textile, ca. 1927

This is a Drawing. It is dated ca. 1927 and we acquired it in 2011. Its medium is brush and watercolor, white gouache, graphite on cream wove paper. It is a part of the Drawings, Prints, and Graphic Design department.

This drawing is by Adelgunde “Gunta” Stölzl, the very significant and prolific German weaver who was instrumental in shifting the focus of the Bauhaus weaving workshops from pictorial works to industrial ready designs. Her textiles are renowned for their color, their abstract and asymmetrical composition, and their incorporation of new materials.
The drawing probably dates around 1927, the year that Stölzl started designing for a Jacquard loom. Two years earlier, when the Bauhaus was moving from Weimar to Dessau, the textiles workshop director, Georg Muche, bought six Jacquard looms much to Stölzl’s dismay. Stölzl, then the textiles workshop master, believed that the handloom was better suited to the training of young weavers. Stölzl’s experimentation with the loom, however, subsequently produced one of her great masterpieces 5 Chöre (5 Choirs) in 1928. The proposed drawing would be a wonderful example to have in the collection because it is an early “experimental” design for a Jacquard textile.
Stölzl studied at the Kunstgewerbeschule in Munich prior to entering the Bauhaus in 1919. At the Bauhaus, her courses with Paul Klee influenced her bright and lively color palette and the horizontally-aligned compositions used in her woven art of the 1920s and 30s. By 1925, she was appointed craft master of the weaving workshop and became the workshop master upon Muche’s departure in 1927. Due to mounting political pressure, Stölzl was asked to step down in 1931. She moved to Zurich where she continued weaving, founding S P H Stoffe with fellow Bauhaus students Gertrude Preiswerk and Heinrich-Otto Hürlimann. After the departure of Hürlimann in 1937, she ran the workshop under the name Handweberei Flora (Flora Handweaving Mill). The company existed for 30 years, after which Stölzl continued weaving independently until her death.
This is a wonderful opportunity to acquire work by one of great female Bauhaus designers. This piece, together with another textile design drawing proposed for acquisition, would be the first examples of Stölzl’s drawings in the museum’s collection.

It is credited Museum purchase from General Acquisitions Endowment Fund.

Its dimensions are

23.4 × 38.9 cm (9 3/16 × 15 5/16 in.)

It is inscribed

Recto: Inscribed in graphite, top left, aligned to left margin: YK 135 [135 inscribed in circle] Verso: Inscribed in graphite, aligned to right margin [3 separate arrows]: -->; aligned to right margin above last arrow: 37.5; next to top margin, aligned to right margin: 18.5; at bottom right margin (faintly): / Jacquard

Cite this object as

Drawing, Design for a Jacquard Woven Textile, ca. 1927; Germany; brush and watercolor, white gouache, graphite on cream wove paper; 23.4 × 38.9 cm (9 3/16 × 15 5/16 in.); Museum purchase from General Acquisitions Endowment Fund; 2011-4-1

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<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url=https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18766781/ |title=Drawing, Design for a Jacquard Woven Textile, ca. 1927 |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=23 August 2019 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>