Bauhaus Weaving Theory: From Feminine Craft To Mode Of Design by T?ai SmithBauhaus Weaving Theory: From Feminine Craft To Mode Of Design by T?ai Smith

Bauhaus Weaving Theory: From Feminine Craft To Mode Of Design

byT?ai Smith

Paperback | November 9, 2014

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The Bauhaus school in Germany has long been understood through the writings of its founding director, Walter Gropius, and well-known artists who taught there such as Wassily Kandinsky and László Moholy-Nagy. Far less recognized are texts by women in the school’s weaving workshop. In Bauhaus Weaving Theory, T’ai Smith uncovers new significance in the work the Bauhaus weavers did as writers.

From colorful, expressionist tapestries to the invention of soundproofing and light-reflective fabric, the workshop’s innovative creations influenced a modernist theory of weaving. In the first careful examination of the writings of Bauhaus weavers, including Anni Albers, Gunta Stözl, and Otti Berger, Smith details how these women challenged assumptions about the feminine nature of their craft. As they harnessed the vocabulary of other disciplines like painting, architecture, and photography, Smith argues, the weavers resisted modernist thinking about distinct media. In parsing texts about tapestries and functional textiles, the vital role these women played in debates about medium in the twentieth century and a nuanced history of the Bauhaus comes to light.

Bauhaus Weaving Theory deftly reframes the Bauhaus weaving workshop as central to theoretical inquiry at the school. Putting questions of how value and legitimacy are established in the art world into dialogue with the limits of modernism, Smith confronts the belief that the crafts are manual and technical but never intellectual arts.

T’ai Smith is assistant professor in the department of art history, visual art, and theory at the University of British Columbia.
Title:Bauhaus Weaving Theory: From Feminine Craft To Mode Of DesignFormat:PaperbackDimensions:272 pages, 8 × 6 × 0.8 inPublished:November 9, 2014Publisher:University Of Minnesota PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0816687242

ISBN - 13:9780816687244

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Table of Contents



Introduction: Textiles, Text, and a Medium-Specific Craft

1. Pictures Made of Wool: Weaving Labor in the Workshop
2. Toward a Modernist Theory of Weaving: The Use of Textiles in Architectural Space
3. The Haptics of Optics: Weaving and Photography
4. Weaving as Invention: Patenting Theories of Authorship

Conclusion: On Weaving, On Writing


Editorial Reviews

"Smith’s account yields important insights for the history of modernism as well as the art world’s current fascination with textiles and fiber art.  A welcome resource for any scholar of modernism and a crucial lens on contemporary textile art."—Art Papers"This book of theoretical essays uncovers a rarely spotlighted yet deeply significant creative process within the Bauhaus movement."—Metropolis"An edifying and overdue investigation of the weavers’ far-reaching contributions."—American Craft"A fascinating book that should interest professionals and amateurs alike."—CHOICE"Compelling research."—Crafts Magazine"An important schoalarly work for anyone interested in the history of fiber art, weaving, and the discourse about art vs. medium-specific craft."—Shuttle Spindle & Dyepot"Bauhaus Weaving Theory proves to be foundational in rethinking weaving; it is a remarkable work of scholarship, pellucid and engaging."—Journal of Modern Craft