When the famous Bauhaus school of architecture and design first opened in Weimar, Germany in 1919, the majority of students were women. That wasn’t by design, though founder Water Gropius took the unusual stance of declaring equality among genders; it was simply that more women than men applied the first year. The school’s focus on ushering the world into a new era attracted all manner of radicals, which would later make it a target of the Nazis.
Talk about the Bauhaus movement tends to focus on its most famous figures – Paul Klee, Marcel Breuer, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Wassily Kandinsky. But women like Marianne Brandt, Anni Albers, Florence Henri and Ilse Fehling played key roles in Bauhaus, too, roles that don’t get enough attention. A new film called “Lotte am Bauhaus” fictionalizes their stories, focusing on a character named Lotte Brendel who draws inspiration from Alma Siedhoff-Buscher.
“Although their names were condemned to a footnote, the Bauhaus also trained women. In the hundredth anniversary of its foundation, this historical drama roams the Staatliche Bauhaus classrooms from the point of view of one of its artists, Lotte Brendel, character inspired by the great Alma Siedhoff-Buscher.”
For now, at least, the German-language film appears to only be streaming on the European service Film-in, and translations into English don’t seem to be available. Directed by Gregor Schnitzler, Lotte am Bauhaus premiered in Germany this year and stars Alicia von Rittberg.
You can learn more of the stories of the Women of Bauhaus, including sculptor Alma Siedhoff-Buscher, in a detailed profile at Curbed.