Marianne Brandt. Teapot. 1924

Marianne Brandt Teapot 1924

  • MoMA, Floor 5, 513 The David Geffen Wing

Among the best-known products developed at the Bauhaus, the famed German school of modern art, architecture, and design, this teapot was a student work designed by Brandt soon after she joined the metal workshop there. The artist László Moholy-Nagy, who had taken over as the workshop’s form master in 1923, encouraged her to enter this male-dominated field at a time when virtually all female students in the school were relegated to textiles. An accomplished exercise in reducing an everyday object to a combination of elemental shapes, the teapot uses pure geometric forms inspired by the Constructivist aesthetic that Moholy-Nagy had introduced into the workshop. Its design is innovative yet functional, and it bears an ebony handle and finial that are comfortable to hold.

Although hand-forged from nickel silver, the teapot was among Brandt’s first attempts to develop pieces for industrial production. She later wrote that “the task was to shape these things in such a way that even if they were to be produced in numbers, making the work lighter, they would satisfy all aesthetic and practical criteria and still be far less expensive than any singly produced item.” The teapot remained a prototype, but some of her subsequent metalwork designs, especially for lighting, went into mass production. Brandt left the Bauhaus in 1929 when the metal workshop merged with other departments and ceased to be a vital area in the school.

Publication excerpt from From MoMA Highlights: 375 Works from The Museum of Modern Art, New York (New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 2019)
Manufacturer
Bauhaus Metal Workshop, Germany
Medium
Nickel silver and ebony
Dimensions
.a: 7 x 9" (17.8 x 22.8 cm) .b: 3 1/4" (8.3 cm) .c: 2 1/8 x 3 1/8" (5.4 x 8 cm)
Credit
Phyllis B. Lambert Fund
Object number
186.1958.1a-c
Department
Architecture and Design

If you would like to reproduce an image of a work of art in MoMA’s collection, or an image of a MoMA publication or archival material (including installation views, checklists, and press releases), please contact Art Resource (publication in North America) or Scala Archives (publication in all other geographic locations).

All requests to license audio or video footage produced by MoMA should be addressed to Scala Archives at firenze@scalarchives.com. Motion picture film stills or motion picture footage from films in MoMA's Film Collection cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. For licensing motion picture film footage it is advised to apply directly to the copyright holders. For access to motion picture film stills please contact the Film Study Center. More information is also available about the film collection and the Circulating Film and Video Library.

If you would like to reproduce text from a MoMA publication or moma.org, please email text_permissions@moma.org. If you would like to publish text from MoMA’s archival materials, please fill out this permission form and send to archives@moma.org.

This record is a work in progress. If you have additional information or spotted an error, please send feedback to digital@moma.org.