James Prestini's Copy
Herbert Bayer, Walter Gropius and Ise Gropius [Editors]: BAUHAUS 1919-1928. New York: Museum of Modern Art, 1938. First edition. JAMES PRESTINI'S COPY with his Lake Forest studio stamp on front endpaper. A very good hardcover book in yellow screen-printed cloth boards with a good dust jacket: the rare original dust jacket is unifromly worn to edges with vintage tape reinforcements to tips and spine ends. Yellow cloth lightly soiled. Endpapers lightly soiled. Textblock with mild dampstaining to lower corner and bottom edge. Interior unmarked and clean. A very important and scarce book in the original first edition. Book design and typography by Herbert Bayer.
7.75 x 10.25 hardcover book with 224 pages and 550 illustrations. Orignal edition of the 1938 MoMA monograph devoted to the influence of the Weimar and Dessau Bauhaus under the directorship of Walter Gropius. One of the most important art books of the twentieth century.
Includes work by all the Bauhaus faculty including Walter Gropius, Paul Klee, Wassily Kandinsky, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, Marcel Breuer, Herbert Bayer, Josef Albers, Lyonel Feininger, Oskar Schlemmer, Hannes Meyer, Mies van der Rohe, Anni Albers, Otti Berger, Gunta Stolzl, Max Bill and many, many others.
This book is considered one of THE most definitive Bauhaus volumes ever published.
Includes work from the furniture, weaving, metal, typography and painting workshops. Highly recommended.
From the book: " The book is a point-for-point record of actual programs and projects at the Bauhaus, prepared by Herbert Bayer under the general editorship of Walter Gropius and with the collaboration of a dozen other Bauhaus teachers -- including Kandinsky, Klee, Feininger, Schlemmer, Itten, Moholy-Nagy, Albers, and Breuer. Rather than a retrospective history, here is a collection of photographs, articles, and notes prepared on the field of action. It may be considered as much a work of the Bauhaus as it is a work about it; even the typography and layout for the volume were designed by a former Bauhaus master. "
"This book on the Bauhaus was published in conjunction with the Museum Of Arts exhibition, Bauhaus 1919-28. Like the exhibition, it was for the most part limited to the first nine years of the institution, the period during which Gropius was director. For reasons beyond the control of any of the individuals involved, the last five years of the Bauhaus could not be represented. During those five years much excellent work was done and the international reputation of the Bauhaus increased rapidly, but, unfortunately for the purposes of this book, the fundamental character of the Bauhaus had already been established under Gropius' leadership. This book is primarily a collection of evidence - photographs, articles and notes done on the field of action, and assembled here with a minimum of retrospective revision."
James Prestini [1908 - 1993] studied mechanical engineering at Yale, and then continued his study at the Institute for Design in Chicago, where he was exposed to the unified Bauhaus philosophy of art and craft: "Craft is the body of structure. Art is the soul of structure. Optimum creativity integrates both."
Prestini blended craft with function, most notably with his turned lathe bowls, using straight-grained woods to create thin bowls with an appearance similar to glass and ceramics. He also produced experimental furniture and over 400 sculptures over a 50 year career while a professor of fine arts at the University of California, Berkeley.
He was part of a design team that won the Museum of Modern Art's furniture competition in 1948 with a jointless chair made from durable wood pulp.
In 1950 Edgar Kauffman, Jr. of the Museum of Modern Art commented on Prestini's contribution to modernism: "This feat has been Prestini's, to suggest within the limits of simple craft the human pathos of art and the clean, bold certainties of science. He has made grand things that are not overwhelming, beautiful things that are not personal unveilings, and simple things that do not urge usefulness to excuse their simplicityÉArt or not, craft or not, bowls or plain shapes, they speak directly and amply of our day to our day."
At least 260 of his sculptures are in the permanent collections of museums including the Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Smithsonian Institution in Washington and the Berlin Bauhaus-Archiv.
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