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Marianne Brandt (German, 1893–1983)

About this artist

Source: Oxford University Press

German metalworker and designer. One of the best-known of the Bauhaus metalworkers, she studied painting and sculpture at the Kunstakademie in Weimar (1911–14). Around 1923 she went to study at the Bauhaus in Weimar and on the advice of László Moholy-Nagy joined the metal workshop there. The development of her work parallels the philosophical developments at the Bauhaus, from the craft orientation of the Weimar period (1919–25) to the interest in technology and industrial design of the Dessau period (1925–33). Her early designs, for example the hand-crafted nickel-silver teapot (1924) and brass and ebony tea-essence pot (1924; Berlin, Bauhaus-Archv), are based on pure geometrical forms—cylinders, spheres and hemispheres. Functional considerations are secondary to aesthetic concerns. Her later designs, particularly those for lighting fixtures, reflect the influence of Moholy-Nagy. Under his direction the metal workshop concentrated on producing prototypes for mass production. Notable among Brandt’s lamp designs are a ceiling fixture (1925), equipped with chains so the globe could be lowered to change the bulb, an adjustable ceiling light (with Hans Przyrembel; 1926; e.g. at Berlin, Bauhaus-Archv) and the ‘Kandem’ bedside table lamp on a flexible stem (1927). The last was one of several lamps by Brandt that were commercially manufactured by Körting & Mathiesson, Leipzig, from 1928. Brandt was the head of the metal workshop at the Bauhaus from 1928 to 1929. She worked as an independent designer from 1933 and was an instructor at the Hochschule für Bildende Künste, Dresden (1949–51), and the Institut für Angewandte Kunst, Berlin (1951–4). For an illustration of a brass ashtray.

Donna Corbin
From Grove Art Online

© 2009 Oxford University Press

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