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Institute of Design Records, 1937-ca. 1962

 Collection
Identifier: 008.01.01
Academic and creative materials of the New Bauhaus also known as the American School of Design, School of Design, and the Institute of Design, ca. 1937 to ca. 1955. Includes academic catalogues, class and school activities announcements, biographical materials on faculty and students. Also examples of artistic works, exhibit catalogues and announcements of student and alumni professional activities. Also essays, speeches, periodical articles, newsclippings by and about the school and its members. Some materials concern specific courses, e.g. Camouflage Course, Rehabilitation and Occupational Therapy, Summer Art Camp and Junior Workshop. Exhibit materials include catalogues from Maremont Collection, Fernand Leger, and Moholy-Nagy exhibits. Minor amounts of individual student's and students' group projects class work. Photograph series (ca. 1500 - 2000 photographs total) include 15 volumes of 4½x6" black and white images depicting completed class projects (arranged by class or medium), classroom and studio settings, and exhibitions. Another series of 8x10" photographs depict student designs and inventions, product designs; school buildings and faculty and additional exhibit installations, such as the Gebonden Kunsten federatie (GKf) graphic arts exhibit of 1954, social documentary and industrial design exhibits, and others.

Dates

  • 1937-1955

Creator

Language of Materials

Records are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

Available for research.

Collection Size

11 series (34 boxes)

Overview

This collection documents the activities of Institute of Design and its predecessor schools, ca. 1937 to ca. 1955. It encompasses the academic and creative materials of the New Bauhaus, Chicago School of Design, and the Institute of Design. The collection includes academic catalogues, class and school activities announcements, biographical materials on faculty and students, examples of artistic works, exhibit catalogues and announcements of student, alumni professional activities, photography by students and photographs documenting school activities and exhibits. Also essays, speeches, periodical articles, newsclippings by and about the school and its members. Some materials concern specific courses, e.g. Camouflage Course, Rehabilitation and Occupational Therapy, Summer Art Camp and Junior Workshop.

Biographical / Historical

The Institute of Design was established in 1939 by László Moholy-Nagy as the School of Design in Chicago. Moholy-Nagy was one of the early masters of the Bauhaus in Weimar and Dessau, Germany. In 1937, a group of Chicago business people representing the Association of Arts and Industries enticed Moholy to come to Chicago from London with their offer to establish a school to carry on the work of the original Bauhaus. The New Bauhaus: American School of Design opened its doors in October 1937, in the remodeled former Marshall Field mansion at 1905 South Prairie Avenue. From the venue of the New Bauhaus in Chicago, Moholy-Nagy championed Bauhaus methods even as he adapted them in his creative output of paintings, photographs, sculptures, photograms, and films as well as in professional design assignments undertaken for private industry and government, and in developing course curricula for the school's classes. The school closed a year later due to a lack of funding, but in February, 1939, László Moholy-Nagy opened his own school, the School of Design in Chicago. Its first campus was at 247 East Ontario Street. In 1944 the school was reorganized as the Institute of Design in Chicago (ID).

In November, 1946, Moholy-Nagy died of leukemia, and was succeeded as director by the architect, Serge Chermayeff. Vision in Motion, the definitive statement of Moholy's educational philosophy, was published posthumously in 1947. In 1949, the Institute of Design merged with Illinois Institute of Technology and the school initially remained at its downtown location. In 1955, it moved into S. R. Crown Hall, the building Mies van der Rohe had designed for IIT's architecture program, which he headed. Today, the Institute of Design is an integral part of IIT, offering a graduate level program and functioning as a college of the university, and is located in downtown Chicago.

Arrangement

This collection is arranged into 11 series:
  1. I. Moholy-Nagy
  2. II. History
  3. III. Academic Materials
  4. IV. Faculty and Student Exhibits
  5. V. Programs Hosted
  6. VI. Outside Publications
  7. VII. Faculty Materials
  8. VIII. Student Materials
  9. IX. Photographs
  10. X. Photograph Albums
  11. XI. Oversized

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Was formerly 1998.031

Related Materials

This collection is one of three primary collections which document the activities of Institute of Design, IIT's School of Design. The three collections represent official records of the school created and saved as administrative records of the school. The three collections are 008.01.01, 008.01.02, and 008.01.003. For other related materials and collections in IIT Archives, see http://archives.iit.edu/guides/IITArchives_CollectionGuide_ID_Moholy-Nagy.pdf., Materials in other Chicago-area repositories include: Three-dimensional items from the Institute of Design are in the Decorative and Industrial Arts Collections at Chicago Historical Society. The Art Institute of Chicago holds related collections (primarily photography). University of Illinois at Chicago holds an Institute of Design collection in the University Library's Department of Special Collections.

Processor

Catherine Bruck, University Archivist

Part of the Paul V. Galvin Library. University Archives and Special Collections Repository

Contact:
35 West 33rd Street
Chicago IL 60616
(312) 567-5993