Magdalena Droste

Young Bauhaus Research Colloquium




Magdalena Droste

Institute for Art History, BTU Cottbus

Magdalena Droste (PhD) has been Professor and holder of the Chair for Art History at Brandenburg University of Technology Cottbus Senftenberg since 1997. She studied Art History and German Studies at the Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule Aachen (RWTH Aachen) and the Philipps University of Marburg, completing her PhD there in 1977. From 1980 to 1997, she was curator at the Bauhaus Archive in Berlin. Droste has authored and edited numerous publications on the subject of Bauhaus and the history of nineteenth and twentieth-century design.

Oskar Schlemmer’s Paintings as Agents of Exile.

By 1933, the painter Oskar Schlemmer had failed in his idealistic ambition to be accepted as a modern German artist, though without politicising himself in terms of the NS ideology. The presentation will demonstrate how, from 1933 onwards, Schlemmer made strategic use of his paintings to bring about a possible exile to the U.S. – a plan that was abandoned by 1938/39. The presentation also discusses early contracts and sales for commissions with Philip Johnson in the U.S., the 1937 exhibition of 50 oil paintings in the London Gallery, the 1938 London exhibition “20th Century German Art”, and finally, Schlemmer´s participation in the Bauhaus exhibition in the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1938. The presentation also outlines the role and importance of certain individuals in and around Walter Gropius’ personal network.