Just before winter break, the Buddy Taub Foundation, under the direction of Dennis and Jill Roach, donated $75,000 to Colorado College Special Collections. CC Special Collections carries collections of rare books, special editions, manuscripts, and published and archival material about Colorado, Colorado Springs, and Colorado College.
So what will Special Collections be doing with this $75,000? The foundation donated the money with the intention that it be used to fund a small collection of extremely rare Bauhaus materials.
The 1919 Bauhaus movement began when German architect Walter Gropius founded the Weimar Bauhaus School, whose main focus was to combine art with industry.
Prior to the Bauhaus movement, fine arts such as architecture and design were considered superior to the practice of craftsmanship painting and woodworking. Gropius, however, believed that all elements of design should be pooled together and mass-produced.
“Bauhaus design is something most students at CC would probably recognize but perhaps not know the name for—in architecture, it’s blocky forms, much like Tutt Library in fact,” said Jessy Randall, archivist and curator of Colorado College Special Collections.
CC was blessed with this donation largely due to Randall’s connections.
“The Buddy Taub foundation works with a rare book dealer, in this case Glenn Horowitz, Bookseller, Inc., in New York City, to match up rare books and papers with libraries,” said Randall. “I used to work for GHB, many years ago; Glenn emailed me to tell me about the gift coming in, and if I remember right, the email subject line was ‘make your day.’ As in, what he was about to do. And indeed, he did.”
What does this collection consist of? First is a three-page manifesto for the Bauhaus movement, titled “Programm des Staatlichen Bauhauses in Weimar,” written by Gropius himself. Less than ten copies of this manifesto are known to have survived the last 100 years.
Secondly, the new collection contains a test print of the “Kathedrale” woodcut. The “Kathedrale” woodcut is a black-and-white print that served as a cover design for the 1919 Bauhaus manifesto, mentioned above. However, this test print is somewhat smaller than the print used for the cover of the “Programm.”
Third in the collection is a copy of “Satzungen Staatliches Bauhaus in Weimar.” This was the textbook for students studying at Weimar Bauhaus School in 1922. Only three copies of this handbook are known to exist.
The last addition is a pair of original Gropius designs in pencil. The first design shows shaded block letters of his daughter’s name, and the other design consists of architectural sketches.
Randall is excited to share the new collection with CC students. Although the collections are mostly written in German, she doesn’t want students to shy away.
“Roman alphabet typography is a universal language—we can look at the word ‘Gropius’ sketched out by Walter Gropius and think about letter forms and what makes a Bauhaus G different from a Gutenberg G,” said Randall.
Stop by Colorado College Special Collections, open Monday through Friday between 9 to 12 a.m. and 1 to 5 p.m to see the collection.