Marianne Brandt, a silver tea-infuser

Weimar or Dessau, Germany
Designed AD 1924, made around AD 1925-29

A Bauhaus blend of practicality and flair

The Bauhaus (meaning 'Construction House') was a progressive German design school based in Weimar from 1919-25, then in Dessau from 1925-32 and finally in Berlin where it was closed by the Nazis in 1933. The school employed many leading European artists and architects, and its purpose was to train designers to work in industry. The basic design course introduced students to different materials. From there they progressed to detailed study of individual craft disciplines in specialized workshops.

The painter and sculptor Marianne Brandt (1893-1983) was the first woman to join the Bauhaus Metal Workshop in 1924, and eventually became its director from 1928-29. The severe geometric forms of this tea-infuser reflect the influence of her teacher, the Hungarian artist László Moholy-Nagy (1895-1946). Moholy-Nagy was a pioneer of the Constructivist style, his prints and paintings composed of pure abstract forms inspired by modern machinery.

Although entirely hand-made, this teapot has an industrial aesthetic, and Brandt subsequently went on to design for mass-production. The functionalism of this design is apparent in the neat built-in strainer, the non-drip spout, the off-centre placement of the lid, and the choice of heat-resistant ebony for the handles, which would otherwise be too hot to hold.

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More information

Bibliography

J. Rudoe, Decorative arts 1850-1950: a c, 2nd ed. (London, The British Museum Press, 1994)

F. Whitford, Bauhaus (London, Thames and Hudson, 1984)

G. Naylor, The Bauhaus reassessed (London, Herbert Press, 1985)

F. Whitford, The Bauhaus - makers and stude (London, Conran Octapus, 1992)

Dimensions

Height: 7.300 cm
Diameter: 10.600 cm (top)
Diameter: 10.600 cm (top)
Width: 16.100 cm (spout to handle)

Museum number

M&ME 1979,11-2,1

MCT6793

Location

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