Published February 25, 2019 by Bowdoin College Museum of Art

Reflections on the Bauhaus

Danny Banks ’19, senior Art History and German double major at Bowdoin College, reflects on working with curator Joachim Homann to organize the Bowdoin College Museum of Art's new exhibition celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Bauhaus, "Modernism for All: The Bauhaus at 100."

Danny Banks ’19 is a senior Art History and German double major at Bowdoin College who worked with curator Joachim Homann this past fall to organize the Museum’s new exhibition celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Bauhaus, titled Modernism for All: The Bauhaus at 100 (March 1, 2019–May 12, 2019). Danny has been involved with the Museum in multiple capacities throughout his time at Bowdoin, serving as the Administrative and Communications Assistant during the summer of 2017 and as an Assistant to the Curator in the fall of 2018. His work on Modernism for All built on the work of two students—Juliette Dankens ’18 and Alexander Dobbin ’18—who initiated a spring 2018 Independent Study on the Bauhaus with Professor Jill Pearlman, and continued their research as curatorial interns this past summer. In anticipation of the opening of the exhibition, the Museum asked Danny Banks to reflect on his curatorial experience preparing this exhibition.

Danny Banks, class of 2019

I had the benefit of coming to Modernism for All after Alex Dobbin ’18 and Juliette Dankens ’18 had already initiated the project. My contributions to the exhibition began with research, specifically into the history of the Bauhaus and its many workshops. Curator Joachim Homann and I established the exhibition’s central focus on the Bauhaus’s network of strong pedagogic relationships, which seemed especially appropriate for our academic environment and complementary to our collection.

While engaged in the project, it was incredible for me to see just how many parties were involved in, and excited by, the Bauhaus and its anniversary. Much of my time was spent communicating with the curator of the Sabarsky Collection and processing its generous loans to the exhibition, which include sculptures by Oskar Schlemmer, as well as Wassily Kandinsky’s full 1922 Kleine Welten (Small Worlds) portfolio. The Boston Goethe Institut collaborated with the Museum to arrange a temporary Virtual Reality experience of the Weimar Bauhaus, which will serve as both a necessary consideration of the school’s architectural intentions and a further innovative leap for the Museum’s gallery space. In addition to outside collaborators, Bowdoin’s German, Music, and Visual Arts departments, as well as Senior Lecturer in Environmental Studies Jill Pearlman, all involved themselves in the show, contributing to exhibition programming with guest speakers and coordinating the display of Bowdoin students’ own Bauhaus-inspired artwork. I could not have been more pleased to learn that everyone was just as excited about the Bauhaus as I was. I hope that visitors to Modernism for All will also see, in both the Bauhaus objects and exhibition’s development, the collaboration required for creative endeavors.

Danny Banks, Class of 2019