Desk in Exile: A Bauhaus Object Traversing Different Modernities
Publisher: Spector Books 2017 ISBN: 9783959051224 Format: Softcover
152 pp, 146x105mm
How can a heavy cherrywood desk tell a story of exile and migration? Walter Gropius's desk was designed as part of the 1923 Bauhaus exhibition in Weimar, then moved to Dessau where it was integrated into a modern office culture. Since 1938, it has been in the children's room of the family's private residence in Lincoln, Massachusetts. In contrast to the ageless replicas in Weimar and Dessau, the broken ribbon and missing glass shelves of the original give evidence of its different lives, locations and challenging moving logistics.
Looking through the lens of the object, the Bauhaus Lab 2016 investigated the changing conditions of exile: an object lesson on modern modes of migrations and settlings that provokes questions about their contemporary relevance.