The New Bauhaus was founded in Chicago in 1937 following an invitation from the Association of Arts and Industries. The school built on the founding ideas and approaches of the German Bauhaus but switched the focus of the educational concept to photography. László Moholy-Nagy was appointed director. Walter Gropius was initially lined up for this post, but because he was at Harvard University at the time, he suggested Moholy-Nagy for the job. The name New Bauhaus was Moholy-Nagy’s idea. The school was initially based in a villa in the city designed by architect Richard Morris Hunt and owned by the American entrepreneur Marshall Field.

Just a year after it had opened, the New Bauhaus closed again due to financial difficulties, only to promptly reopen in 1939 as the School of Design. Known from 1944 as the Institute of Design, it became part of the new university network Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT). The IIT, which the Institute of Design remains part of today, is a technical university founded in Chicago in 1940. The campus was designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe in 1938. László Moholy-Nagy was head of the school until his death in 1946, thus played a significant role in its concept. The New Bauhaus initially closely followed the principles of the Bauhaus in Dessau and Weimar. Both the preliminary course and the workshop principle were adopted and formed part of the training.

Autorin Langtext: ggf. Maggie Taft???

László Moholy-Nagy Teaching at The New Bauhaus, 1937/1946 © University Archives and Special Collections IIT
Exhibition of student work from the preliminary course of the New Bauhaus 1938 ©
The New Bauhaus in the Marshall Field Mansion, 1937-1939 © University Archives and Special Collections IIT
György Kepes, “Eyes of Chicago”, Chicago, 1941© Kepes Institute