Edition 2

Learning From

Paul Klee, Teppich (Carpet), 1927, pen on paper on cardboard, © 2017 Christie’s Images Limited.

Book cover of Ernst Fuhrmann: Tlinkit und Haida, Folkwang Verlag GmbH, Hagen 1922.
Raoul D’Harcourt: Textiles of Ancient Peru and their Techniques, University of Washington Press, Seattle 1962.

Arthur Baessler collection, Shirt, Tiahuanaco (=Tiwanaku), 0–700 (?), Peru 
© Ethnologisches Museum der Staatlichen Museen zu Berlin – Preußischer Kulturbesitz, photo: Claudia Obrocki.
Anni Alber, Black–White–Gray, 1927, © The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2018.

Josef Albers, Loggia Wall at RIT, 1967
© The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2018.

Rose Slivka, "New Tapestry", in: Craft Horizons, March/April 1963.
Lena Bergner, Draft of a hand loom, ca. 1936–39, Bauhaus Dessau Foundation,
© (Lena Bergner) Erbengemeinschaft nach Lena Bergner.

Eduard Gaffron Collection, Khipu, Inca 1450–1550, Huacho, Peru
© Photo: Ethnologisches Museum der Staatlichen Museen zu Berlin – Preußischer Kulturbesitz, photo: Claudia Obrocki.

Lenore Tawney, Mask, ca. 1967, Linen, pre-Columbian beads, shell, horsehair
Photos: George Erml; Courtesy: Lenore G. Tawney Foundation.

Marguerite Wildenhain, Double Face pot, 1960–70, Luther College, Decorah, photo: Grant Watson, © Luther College.

Kader Attia, Signs of Reappropriation as Repair, 2017, Single projection of 80 slides, Courtesy of the artist.

from: Maghreb Art Magazine, No. 3, 1965.

Poster exhibition of Farid Belkahia, Mohamed Chabâa, Mohamed Melehi, Théâtre National
Mohamed V, design: Mohamed Melehi, 1965, Toni Maraini, personal archive / courtesy by Toni Maraini.
Painted ceiling of Mohamed Melehi, Hotel Les Roses du Dades, Kelaa M'Gouna, 1968–69
Architects: cabinet Faraoui et de Mazières, archives: Faraoui et de Mazières.

Door from the Musée Tiskiwin, Collection of Bert Flint, photo: Maud Houssais.

●Edition Concept

Departing from Paul Klee’s drawing of a North African kilim, the edition Learning From foregrounds an interest at the Bauhaus in the vernacular and the premodern as well as in the social value of craft. This interest, reflected in the collection of the Bauhaus library, included European folk art, the decorative arts of North Africa and the Near East as well as the ancient civilizations of the Americas.


While this is relating to an early twentieth-century “primitivist” discourse, at the Bauhaus, things such as African and Andean patterns and techniques were carefully studied by masters and students in order to innovate from within their own culture and to synthesize this knowledge into modern designs. In mid-twentieth-century North America, Bauhaus practices, evolved through contact with ancient as well as contemporary indigenous cultures, became the source for formal as well as technical developments, particularly in the field of weaving. In North Africa, as part of the process of decolonization, an engagement with local crafts took on a political meaning, including in establishing new art school curricula, away from the Beaux-Arts education still based on orientalism, figurative art, and the division of the applied (low) and fine (high) arts. And in Brazil, a generation of cultural practitioners, including artists, architects, and pedagogues partially oriented through a relation with the Bauhaus, experienced a pull towards the marginal as a way to produce a break from the hegemony of European modernism.


Learning From tracks this history of appropriation through a series of geographies and time periods. It asks who produces the craft object, who learns, and who profits from it. Here, craft becomes a symbolic and political medium, highlighting various positionalities, including the North African Berber, the Andean weaver and the women of the Fibre Art movement.

●Related Articles
Common Threads — Approaches to Paul Klee’s Carpet of 1927

Paul Klee’s Carpet, 1927, creates a conundrum for scholars as it does not neatly fit the existing theoretical models concerning how European artists engage with non-Western art and culture, while at the same time opening up exciting new avenues for inquiry. → more

Anni Albers and Ancient American Textiles

At the time Anni Albers wrote On Weaving in 1965, few discussions of Andean textiles “as art” had appeared in weaving textbooks, but there were numerous publications, many of which were German books published between 1880 and 1929, that documented and described their visual and technical properties. Albers almost single-handedly introduced weaving students to this ancient textile art through her writing and her artistic work.  → more

Andean Weaving and the Appropriation of the Ancient Past in Modern Fiber Art

Ancient and indigenous textile cultures of the Americas played a critical role in the development of the work of fiber artists who came of age in the U.S. in the late 1950s and 1960s. Anyone who has studied fiber art of this period, myself included, knows this well. They openly professed an admiration for traditions ranging from Navaho weaving, to the use of the backstrap loom in Mexico and Central America, to the ancient weaving techniques of Peru. → more

The Bauhaus and Morocco

In the years when Western nations were committed in new projects of partnership, with what was then called the “Third World”, young artists and students from the Maghreb had grown up in the passionate climate of the struggle for independence, were talented, open to modernity, and eager to connect with twentieth-century international art movements, which were different in production and spirit from colonial ideology and culture. → more


I was sixteen years old when I undertook my first journey into finding a professional vocation, first in Asilah, then in Fez followed by Tétouan. 1952. Tangiers was, to me, an open book, a window on the world. The freedom of seeing, of discovering and of feeling, of weaving the narratives of my dreams. → more

●Artist Text
Research Project by Kader Attia

Looking into the history of objects, into their original practical and social function as well as into the circumstances of their transition to European and other countries of Western civilization, the artist Kader Attia aims at conveying the full identity of the objects and to follow the traces of their disappearance that still can be discovered today and call for repair. → more

On distance, objects and the body

On the 24th and 25th of March 2018, we met in Rabat to participate in the first event of the bauhaus imaginista project. We were attending a workshop with the French-Algerian artist Kader Attia, surrounded by an exhibition of archival materials from artists and students from the École des Beaux Arts in Casablanca and including the Maghreb Art magazine on the walls of Le Cube — independent art space that hosted Attia's show in Rabat. → more

Learning From, Rabat

In Morocco, a lessor known history is how Bauhaus ideas of synthesizing different cultural influences impacted on art and design practice and esucation in the post-colonial period. The synthesis of the craft production and modern means of production is considered by post-colonial artists as one possible pathway beyond the legacy of colonial art education. → more

Work with Material

from: Black Mountain College Bulletin, No. 5, 1938. → more

The Harriet Engelhardt Memorial Collection of Textiles

from: Black Mountain College Bulletin, Vol. 6, No. 4, May 1948. → more

Tapestry through the Ages. The Weaving of Tapestries, Part I+II

from: Shuttle-Craft Bulletin, 1957. → more

Tapestry Rugs in an Ancient Peruvian Design

from: Shuttle-Craft Bulletin, March 1941. → more

The New Tapestry

from: Craft Horizons, Vol. XXIII, No. 2, March/April 1963, pp. 10–19, 48–49. → more

Interview with Fiber Artist Sheila Hicks

On 3rd of February and 11th of March textile researcher and writer Monique Lévi-Strauss met with her friend of 37 years, American Fiber artist Sheila Hicks, for an interview at Hicks’ home in Paris, France. They talked about the artist’s education, inspiration and her journey through South America.


The entire interview transcript and an excerpt from the original audio recording can be viewed at the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. → more

Forms of Life — Marguerite Wildenhain's Pond Farm

Excerpted from Live Form: Women, Ceramics, and Community by Jenni Sorkin

© The University of Chicago. Reproduced with permission. → more

Le Gâchis / The Waste

in: Souffles, No. 7–8, 1967, pp. 1–14

"The Waste", translated by Kate Hugh McStevenson in the context of the SNF project “Ästhetik der Dekolonisierung. Das Magazin Souffles (1966–1972)“ (2014–16)

Courtesy of Abdellatif Laâbi. → more

Fiches et questionnaires

Fiches et questionnaire avec Farid Belkahia, Mohamed Chabaa, Mohamed Melehi


dans: Souffles, No. 7–8, 1967


Courtoisie de Abdellatif Laâbi. → more

Témoignage sur un artiste occidental — Herbert Bayer

‘j’ai voyagé au maroc et j’ai beaucoup apprécié ses différentes traditions artisitiques; je suis impressionnable, et je peux dire que le maroc a signifié beaucoup pour moi.’

Publié dans: Integral, No. 12–13, 1978. → more

Essai d'Inventaire des Styles dans les Arts Populaires du Maroc

Dans notre première publication nous avions distingué quatre traditions ou influences artistiques qui se font sentir au Maroc.
La tradition berbère,
La tradition Islamique,
L’art populaire marocain,
Les influences Sahariennes et Africaines


Publié dans: Maghreb Art, 1966 → more

●All Articles
Filter by Language:
  • EN
  • DE
  • FR
Common Threads — Approaches to Paul Klee’s Carpet of 1927 EN
Anni Albers and Ancient American Textiles EN
Andean Weaving and the Appropriation of the Ancient Past in Modern Fiber Art EN
The Bauhaus and Morocco EN
Memories EN
Mémoires FR
Erinnerungen DE
Research Project by Kader Attia EN
On distance, objects and the body EN
Learning From, Rabat EN
Learning From, Rabat DE
Work with Material EN
The Harriet Engelhardt Memorial Collection of Textiles EN
Tapestry through the Ages. The Weaving of Tapestries, Part I+II EN
Tapestry Rugs in an Ancient Peruvian Design EN
The New Tapestry EN
Interview with Fiber Artist Sheila Hicks EN
Forms of Life — Marguerite Wildenhain's Pond Farm EN
Le Gâchis / The Waste FR
Fiches et questionnaires FR
Témoignage sur un artiste occidental — Herbert Bayer FR
Essai d'Inventaire des Styles dans les Arts Populaires du Maroc FR