Herbert Bayer

Biography

Typography, photography, designer of exhibitions, types, furniture. Although born in Austria, Herbert Wilhelm Bayer’s early artistic experience was gained in Germany. Born 5 April 1900 in Haag am Hausruck, Austria. 1917-19: military service. 1919: studied architecture and applied arts in Joseph Schmidthammer’s studio, Linz. 1920: in Darmstadt, working under the architect Emmanuel Margold. 1921-3, 1924-5: student at the Bauhaus, Weimar; 1923: designed banknotes during the inflation period for state of Weimar; 1925-8: head of the advertising and typography workshop, Bauhaus, Dessau. 1928-30: art director, Vogue, in Berlin. From 1930: director at Dorland Studio (of London) advertising agency, Berlin; worked on journal die neue linie; exhibition stands and photography. His assistant was Kurt Kranz, Bayer’s former Bauhaus student. Bayer’s work much influenced by that of Dali. 1930: worked with Gropius and Moholy-Nagy on the ‘Deutscher Werkbund’ exhibition at the ‘Exposition de la société des artistes décorateurs’, Paris. 1935-8: designed covers for the journal die neue linie, succeeding Willi Baumeister. 1936: his ‘bayer-Type’ issued by H. Berthold. July 1937: one work (a 1924 landscape) in ‘Entartete Kunst’ (Degenerate art) exhibition, Munich. 1938: emigrated to New York; organized for the Museum of Modern Art the ‘Bauhaus 1919-1928’ exhibition (1938; the ‘catalogue’ was edited by Bayer, Ilse Gropius and Walter Gropius), ‘Road to Victory (1942), ‘Arts in Therapy’ (1942) and ‘Airways to Peace’, (1943). Other Bayer-designed exhibitions: State of Pennsylvania Pavilion , World’s Fair, New York (1939), Aluminium Company of America (1941-2), ‘Women and the war’ (for Australian News Bureau, 1942), Container Corporation of America (1945, Art Institute of Chicago). 1938-46: lived in New York City; consultant art director for the John Wanamaker department store (1941-2), art director at the advertising agency J. Walter Thompson (1944), vice-president of art and industrial design at Dorland International (1945-6). 1944: became U.S. citizen. 1946-65: design consultant to the Container Corporation of America (chairman of its department of design, 1956-65). 1946-75: lived in Aspen, Colorado; from 1950, design consultant to the Aspen Development Co. From 1950: board member of the Aspen Institute for Humanistic Studies and the Aspen International Design Conference. 1953: Container Corporation of America published the Bayer-designed World Geo-Graphic Atlas to great critical acclaim (later published Munich: Goldmann, rev. ed.). From 1966: art and design consultant to Atlantic Richfield Co. He worked on constructions for the Olympic Games, Mexico, and, from 1968-71, on the exhibition ‘50 Years of the Bauhaus’ (shown numerous venues worldwide). 1969: awarded the Kulturpreis der Deutsche Gesellschaft für Photographie. 1970: AIGA medallist. 1973: received an honorary doctorate from the Technical University, Graz. Bayer lived in Montecito, California, from 1975 until his death. His work appeared in numerous exhibitions and he received numerous awards for his accomplishments, including as a finalist in a government competition for the designs for postage stamps in 1963. Died 30 September 1985 in Santa Barbara, California.

Writings by

  • For comprehensive references to Herbert Bayer’s writings, bibliographies and exhibitions see Cohen, 1984, and Chanzit, 1987 and 1988, below.
  • (The first three items are repr. in Gropius/Bayer Bauhaus 1919-28, and Fleischmann, Bauhaus, 1984
  • see below). ‘Versuch einer neuen Schriftform’, Offset, Buch- und Werbekunst, 7 (or 10), 1926, pp. 398-400 ‘typografie und werbsachengestaltung’, bauhaus 1, 1928, p. 10
  • ‘“Antwort auf eine Umfrage der Typographischen Mitteilungen…”’, 1933
  • ‘Typography and commercial art forms’, in Hans M. Wingler, The Bauhaus, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1969, pp. 134, 135
  • ‘Towards a universal type’, Industrial Arts, Autumn 1936
  • ( with Walter and Ise Gropius) Bauhaus 1919-28, New York: Museum of Modern Art, 1938 (a survey to co-incide with the MoMA exh
  • p /b, 1975)
  • ‘toward the book of the future’, in Marshall Lee (ed.), Books for our time, New York: Oxford University Press, 1951
  • Walter Amstutz (ed.), Who’s Who in Graphic Art, Zurich: Amstutz & Herdeg Graphis Press, 1962. , 1962
  • Print, July/Aug 1955, p. 12 (opening address, 1955 International Design Conference, Aspen)
  • ‘my position as non scientist’ (the World Geo-Graphic Atlas), Print, July/Aug 1955, p. 44
  • quoted in Ed. Imhof, ‘World Geo-Graphic Atlas’, Graphis 61, 1955, pp. 428-33, 457
  • ‘a contribution to book typography’, Print, Mar/Apr 1959
  • ‘on typography’, Print, Jan/Feb 1960, pp. 86-8
  • ‘Walter Paepcke’, Print, Sept/Oct 1960, pp. 34-6
  • ‘a statement for an individual way of life’, Print, May/June 1962, pp. 26-33
  • Book of Drawings, Container Corporation of America, 1962
  • Print, Jan./Feb. 1964, pp. 29-30 (Typography – USA’ seminar)
  • ‘Freie Kunst als Werbemittel für Verkaufsgespräche’ (art collection of the Container Corporation of America), Graphik, 1967, 9, pp. 4-7
  • ‘on typography‘ (1960), repr. in Helen Armstrong, ed., Graphic Design Theory, New York, NY: Princeton Architectural Press, 2009, pp. 44-9.
  • ‘Design as an expression of industry’ Gebrauchsgraphik (International Advertising Art), Berlin: Phönix Illustrationsdruck und Verlag GmbH (later: ‘Gebrauchsgraphik’ Druck und Verlag GmbH), 1933-71. Published from Munich from 1950., Sept. 1952 (the entire issue devoted to Container Corporation of America)

Writings about

  • Betty Hunter, ‘herbert bayer’, Commercial Art, Nov. 1933, pp. 169-74
  • Richard Hollis, Swiss Graphic Design, London: King, 2006
  • 1928-33: Jan Tschichold, ‘Fotografie und Typografie’, Die Form, 1928, v. 5, pp. 140-50, esp. pp. 143, 149
  • Heinrich Jost, ‘Zweifel’ (comments on new type designs by Bayer, Schwitters, Tschichold), Klimschs Jahrbuch, 1928, pp. 6-15
  • P.W., ‘Herbert Bayer, Photograph und Maler’, Das Kunstblatt, 1929, p. 5 (painting)
  • Das Kunstblatt, May 1929, pp. 151-3
  • Walter Petry, ‘Bindung an die Dinge’, Das Kunstblatt, Aug. 1929, pp. 246-50
  • Wilhelm Lotz, ‘The German “Werkbund” exhibition in Paris’, Die Form, 1930, H. 11/12, pp. 292-6 Jan Tschichold, ‘New life in print’, Commercial Art, 1930, IX, pp. 1-20 (‘The New Typography’ explained)
  • ‘The Exhibition of Foreign Advertising Photography’ (New York
  • Paul Renner, ‘Verkehrswerbung, deutsche Lebensform und Kulturpropaganda’, Die Form, 1932, V. 8, pp. 233-47 (travel poster, travel folder, exh. stand)
  • 1934-6: Dorland 1933, Berlin: Dorland, 1934
  • Dr Hauschild, ‘Remarks on the technique of advertising an exhibition’, Buch- und Werbekunst, April 1934, pp. 100-107 plus 8 pp. supplement (HB in supplement)
  • ‘bayer-Type’, Deutscher Drucker, Dec. 1935, p. 104
  • ‘New type for Berthold’ (bayer-Type), Commercial Art and Industry, 1936, XX, p. 71
  • Art and Industry, October 1936, p. 137 (exh. poster)
  • Robert Harling, ‘Typefounders and their publicity’, Commercial Art and Industry, 1936, XX, pp. 141-6
  • 1937-55: S.L. Righyni, ‘The work of Herbert Bayer’, Art and Industry, 1937, v. 22, pp. 205-9
  • ‘Die neuen Schriften des Jahres 1937’ (Bayer-Type), Deutscher Drucker, Dec. 1937, p. 102
  • H.K. Frenzel, ‘Herbert Bayer’, Gebrauchsgraphik (International Advertising Art), Berlin: Phönix Illustrationsdruck und Verlag GmbH (later: ‘Gebrauchsgraphik’ Druck und Verlag GmbH), 1933-71. Published from Munich from 1950., May 1931, pp. 2-19
  • Emil Wetzig, ‘Das Schriftgestalten und Schriftschaffen der deutschen Giessereien seit 1933’, Archiv für Buchgewerbe und Gebrauchsgraphik, Leipzig: Deutsche Buchgewerbeverein., Dec. 1935, pp. 602-16 (esp. p. 616)
  • E. Hölscher, ‘Herbert Bayer’, Gebrauchsgraphik (International Advertising Art), Berlin: Phönix Illustrationsdruck und Verlag GmbH (later: ‘Gebrauchsgraphik’ Druck und Verlag GmbH), 1933-71. Published from Munich from 1950., June 1938, pp. 2-16
  • ‘Herbert Bayer’, Bauhaus 1919-28, New York: Museum of Modern Art, 1938 (p/b, 1975), pp. 270-85
  • L. Fritz Gruber, ‘Germany’ (posters, publicity), Modern Publicity, 1938-39, pp. 83, 85
  • H. Felix Kraus, ‘Herbert Bayer – architect and artist’, Art and Industry, July 1942, pp. 9-13
  • ‘WAH’, World-famed artists in the service of advertising’ (Container Corporation of America), Graphis 1/2, 1944, pp. 82-7, 104 S. Giedion, ‘Herbert Bayer and advertising in the USA’, Graphis 11/12, 1945, pp. 348-58, 422-4
  • Walter Paepcke, Modern Art in Advertising: An exhibition of designs for Container Corporation of America (exh. cat.), Chicago: Art Institute, 1945 (includes work by HB and others)
  • Egbert Jacobson (Foreword), Modern Art in Advertising: An exhibition of designs for Container Corporation of America, 1937-46, Chicago: Theobald, 1946
  • Alexander Dorner, The Way beyond ‘Art’ – The work of Herbert Bayer, New York: Wittenborn & Schulz Inc., 1947
  • note of HB’s commissions: Aspen, Douglas Aircraft, offices of the CCA), Graphis 18, 1947, pp. 159, 160
  • Wolf von Eckardt, ‘Moderne Kunst in der Werbung’ (Container Corporation of America), Graphik, 1949, pp. 17-25, esp. p. 20
  • E. Jacobson, ‘Container Corporation of America. Good design – an important function of management’, Graphis 30, 1950, pp. 136-47, 201-4
  • ‘Personality in Print: Herbert Bayer’, Print, July/Aug 1955
  • G. Conklin, ‘World Geo-Graphic Atlas’, Print, July/Aug. 1955, pp. 46-51
  • Ed. Imhof, ‘World Geo-Graphic Atlas’, Graphis 61, 1955, pp. 428-33, 457
  • 1956-80: Franz Roh, ‘Die Zwischenposition von Herbert Bayer’, Die Kunst und das schöne Heim, May 1956, pp. 290-93
  • Georgine Oeri, ‘Great ideas of western man’ (advertising series by Container Corporation of America), Graphis 74, 1957, pp. 504-13, 559
  • Richard P. Lohse, ‘The influence of modern art on contemporary graphic design’, New Graphic Design, Sept. 1958
  • Hans Schleger, ‘World Design Conference in Tokyo, 1960’, Graphis 92, 1960, pp. 534-5
  • Painters of the Bauhaus (exh. cat.), London: Marlborough, 1962
  • ‘1962 International Design Conference, Aspen’, Graphis 102, 1962, p. 461 Eckhard Neumann, ‘Herbert Bayer’s photographic experiments’, Typographica 11, June 1965, pp. 34-44
  • An International Survey of Press Advertising, London: Thames & Hudson/André Deutsch, 1966
  • Herbert Bayer painter designer architect, New York: Reinhold Publishing Corp., 1967 (German ed.: Ravensburg: Otto Maier, 1967)
  • F.H.K. Henrion, ‘Alliance Graphique Internationale (AGI). Retrospective show in New York’, Graphis 129, 1967, pp. 66-75, 90, 92 note on Herbert Bayer (Reinhold), Graphis 134, 1967, p. 581
  • Graphik, Dec. 1968, p. 9 (emergency money, 1923)
  • Bauhaus (exh. cat.), London: Royal Academy of Arts, 1968 (includes writings to 1968)
  • Herbert Spencer, Pioneers of modern typography, London: Lund Humphries, 1969, pp. 138-46
  • biography , in Hans M. Wingler, The Bauhaus, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1969, p. 423
  • Jan van der Marck, Herbert Bayer: From type to landscape, Dartmouth College, 1977
  • Herbert Lechner, ‘Von der Steglitzer Werkstatt zum Kathodenstrahl’, Graphik, 1980, 5, pp. 39-45
  • Christopher Wilk (ed.), Modernism, London: V&A, 2006 (h/b, p/b).
  • Karl J. Steinorth, ‘“Film und Foto”, Stuttgart 1929’, novum, Oct. 1975, pp. 30-36, 41-5
  • 1981-90: Herbert Spencer, Pioneers of modern typography, London: Lund Humphries, 1982, pp. 66, 144-9
  • Willy Rotzler (with Jacques N. Garamond), ‘Herbert Bayer’, Art and Graphics, Zurich: ABC Verlag, 1983
  • Gerd Fleischmann (ed.), bauhaus. drucksachen/typografie/reklame, Düsseldorf: Marzona, 1984, esp. pp. 270-85
  • Arthur A. Cohen, Herbert Bayer. The Complete Work, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, and London, 1984 (includes one-man exhibitions, exhibitions designed by Bayer, selected collections, selected bibliography, works by Bayer)
  • Gillian Naylor, The Bauhaus Reassessed, London: Herbert Press, and New York: Dutton, 1985, esp. pp. 157-60
  • Michael McPherson, review of Cohen’s Herbert Bayer. The Complete Work, in Fine Print, Oct. 1985, pp. 200-201
  • Berthold Roland, ed., Banned and Prosecuted [Persecuted?], Dictatorship of Art under Hitler, Cologne: DuMont Buchverlag, 1986
  • Gwen Finkel Chanzit, Herbert Bayer and Modernist Design in America, Ann Arbor, Michigan: UMI Research Press, 1987 (includes bibliography, archives, collections)
  • Walter Tracy, The typographic scene, London: Gordon Fraser, 1988
  • Gwen Finkel Chanzit, Herbert Bayer, Denver, Colorado: Denver Art Museum, 1988 (includes bibliography)
  • 1991-present: SB, 1991, esp. p. 202
  • Philip B. Meggs, ‘The rise and fall of design at a great corporation’, Print, May/June 1992 (repr. in Steven Heller and Georgette Balance (eds.), Graphic design history, New York: Allworth, 2001)
  • Meggs, 1998
  • JA, 2000, esp. pp. 108-11, 198-211
  • Hans Peter Willberg, ‘Schrift und Typographie im 20. Jahrhundert’, Gutenberg Jahrbuch, 2000, pp. 257-87
  • Friedrich Friedl, ‘Zwischen Tradition und Experiment’, Gutenberg Jahrbuch, 2000, pp. 288-301
  • Michael Burke, ‘Global vision’ (Geo Atlas), Graphics International, Feb. 2002, pp. 26-8
  • RK, 2004
  • R. Hausmann, ‘Visual reading the aim of future book typography’ (new designs for type), Gebrauchsgraphik (International Advertising Art), Berlin: Phönix Illustrationsdruck und Verlag GmbH (later: ‘Gebrauchsgraphik’ Druck und Verlag GmbH), 1933-71. Published from Munich from 1950., June 1930, pp. 50-55
  • Kurt Hirschfeld, ‘Modern Photography’, Gebrauchsgraphik (International Advertising Art), Berlin: Phönix Illustrationsdruck und Verlag GmbH (later: ‘Gebrauchsgraphik’ Druck und Verlag GmbH), 1933-71. Published from Munich from 1950., July 1930, pp. 44-51
  • Bayer: first prize), Gebrauchsgraphik (International Advertising Art), Berlin: Phönix Illustrationsdruck und Verlag GmbH (later: ‘Gebrauchsgraphik’ Druck und Verlag GmbH), 1933-71. Published from Munich from 1950., Aug. 1931, pp. 44-6
  • Eberhard Hölscher, ‘Herbert Bayer’, Gebrauchsgraphik (International Advertising Art), Berlin: Phönix Illustrationsdruck und Verlag GmbH (later: ‘Gebrauchsgraphik’ Druck und Verlag GmbH), 1933-71. Published from Munich from 1950., April 1936, pp. 18-25 (includes 3 pages showing bayer-Type, and Deutschland, a 1936 exhibition booklet designed by HB)
  • E. Hölscher, ‘Appeal for [Advertising of] A.G.B. Materials’ (textile company), Gebrauchsgraphik (International Advertising Art), Berlin: Phönix Illustrationsdruck und Verlag GmbH (later: ‘Gebrauchsgraphik’ Druck und Verlag GmbH), 1933-71. Published from Munich from 1950., April 1939, pp. 2-16
  • brief biography, Gebrauchsgraphik (International Advertising Art), Berlin: Phönix Illustrationsdruck und Verlag GmbH (later: ‘Gebrauchsgraphik’ Druck und Verlag GmbH), 1933-71. Published from Munich from 1950., Dec. 1952, p. 55
  • E. Holscher, ‘A new atlas of the world’ (World Geo-Graphic Atlas), Gebrauchsgraphik (International Advertising Art), Berlin: Phönix Illustrationsdruck und Verlag GmbH (later: ‘Gebrauchsgraphik’ Druck und Verlag GmbH), 1933-71. Published from Munich from 1950., Feb. 1954, pp. 2-7
  • Eberhard Hölscher, Gebrauchsgraphik (International Advertising Art), Berlin: Phönix Illustrationsdruck und Verlag GmbH (later: ‘Gebrauchsgraphik’ Druck und Verlag GmbH), 1933-71. Published from Munich from 1950., Jan. 1959, pp. 14-21 (Gg covers)
  • Hellmut Rademacher, Das deutsche Plakat. Von den Anfängen bis zur Gegenwart, Dresden: VEB Verlag der Kunst, 1965., 1965, pp. 207, 209, 210 (work)
  • International Biographical Dictionary of Central European Emigrés 1933-45, Munich, New York, London, Paris: K.G. Saur, 1983., 1983
  • Deutsche Biographische Enzyklopädie, Munich, London, New Providence: K.G. Saur 1995- (from 1997: Munich only)., 1995
  • Ernst Fischer and others, Buchgestaltung im Exil 1933-1950. Eine Ausstellung des Deutschen Exilarchivs 1933-1945 Der Deutschen Bibliothek. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag, 2003. Very comprehensive. , 2003, p. 94, and biog: pp. 143-4

Exhibitions

  • Wertheim, Berlin, 1929
  • A landscape in ‘Entartete Kunst’, Germany, 1936
  • Victoria & Albert Museum (Library), London, 1936/7 (group)
  • London Gallery, London, 1937
  • Art Institute of Chicago (group), 1945
  • Munich, 1956
  • Braunschweig, 1957
  • Bauhaus-Archiv, Darmstadt, 1961
  • Marlborough Gallery, London, 1962 (Bauhaus Painters)
  • London, 1968 (Bauhaus exh.)
  • Bauhaus-Archiv, Berlin, 1974/5, 1982, 1986, 2000, 2001.

Collections

  • Herbert Bayer Archive, Denver Art Museum.