Eye of the Archive: The Opening of All Openings
Is there anything so festive as the holiday season? Could I be more excited for twinkly lights and snow and carols? Yes, yes I can. After a quiet but busy off season, the day finally came to open the new exhibition at the Wheeler/Stallard Museum! Call me a Bauhaus superfan by this point, but I know visitors of all shapes and sizes will enjoy the exhibit “bayer & bauhaus: how design shaped aspen,” presented as part of Bauhaus 100: Aspen, a community-wide celebration of the centenary of the German art school Bauhaus. The exhibit explores the life and influence of my history crush, Herbert Bayer, a Bauhaus artist whose ubiquitous legacy in the little old town of Aspen, Colorado is well worth celebrating.
Apparently the community agrees: guests turned out in droves for two opening events – a member’s only reception followed by a public grand opening were attended by close to 300 people! Let me tell you, the reception was enthusiastic. No surprise there – the exhibit features many artifacts donated by Joella and Herbert Bayer in 1979 that are on display for the first time (yes, I’ve been hoarding the Bayer Collection for myself for decades). Curator Lisa Hancock worked her marvelous magic to create an exhibit that offers a unique view into Bayer’s extensive works – both fine art and commercial. Sketch studies, original prints, architectural drawings, graphic design works, historical photographs, and more share a glimpse into Bayer’s lasting impact on the Aspen area, where he helped guide the community’s cultural and philosophic values beginning in 1946. The evenings were a Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah and Happy Kwanzaa and Happy Diwali all rolled into one. I was simply ecstatic to final see Bayer’s work on display.
The exhibit and the overall Bauhaus 100: Aspen celebrations planned for 2019 are a testament to the Bauhaus artist’s meaningful contributions to the local community and the greater art world. In his own words “an artist or designer functions in society not as a decorator, but as a vital participant.” Take a holiday tip from me, your trusty public Archive Building, don’t miss this brilliant exhibit. It offers historical context for the centennial celebrations and is a must-see for anyone interested in Aspen’s past and present, art, design, architecture, and more.
Until then, yours most excitedly,
The “Eye of the Archive” blog post series, authored by A.B. (personified AHS Archive Building), offers an insider’s glimpse into the goings-on at Aspen Historical Society. Tune in for posts about the Collection, restoration projects, exhibit tid-bits, news around town, and more.