William Morris Gallery crowdfunding Bauhaus exhibition

Gerhard Marcks, Small altarpiece, 1920
Gerhard Marcks, Small altarpiece, 1920, Courtesy Gerhard Marcks Haus, Bremen © DACS 2019

The William Morris Gallery in London is hoping to raise funds through public crowdfunding to hold a landmark exhibition exploring the relationship between the English Arts and Crafts movement and the Bauhaus, the groundbreaking art school established by Walter Gropius in Weimar, Germany.

The Gallery hopes to raise the final £15,000 to finance ‘Pioneers: William Morris and the Bauhaus’, the first exhibition in the UK to fully explore the connection between Morris and his contemporaries and the Bauhaus. The campaign launched this week and will run for just 30 days on Art Fund’s Art Happens site, the UK’s only crowdfunding platform for the museum sector.

Timed to coincide with the centenary of the founding of the Bauhaus in 1919, the exhibition planned for October will bring together over 60 objects from nine international and domestic lenders, some of which have never been displayed in the UK before. The funds raised will realise the final stage of the exhibition: bringing the objects together from collections across Europe, conserving them for display and installing them in the Gallery’s special exhibitions space.

This will include the conservation and mounting of two woven hangings by Benita Koch Otte, transport to bring key objects from Gerhard Marcks Haus in Bremen, Germany, and custom-made showcases to display ceramics by Margeurite Friedlander, a central figure in the Bauhaus’s pottery workshop.

Ceramics, textiles, furniture, prints, watercolours and photographs created at the Bauhaus will be juxtaposed with objects produced by Morris and his circle, highlighting key themes including the unity of fine art and craft, the integrity of design and manufacture and the central role of architecture at the Bauhaus. The exhibition will also consider the social implications of both movements particularly the importance of community and collaboration, the integral role of women practitioners within these communities, and the sincere conviction that design could change the world.

A number of exclusive rewards will be available to donors for as little as £5, including postcard packs, prints and other unique accessories inspired by Morris and the Bauhaus.

Roisin Inglesby, Curator at the William Morris Gallery, said, “This exhibition represents a unique opportunity to bring world-class objects to new audiences in London, showcasing aspects of the Bauhaus—such as the centrality of craft—that are often overlooked. We hope that by displaying these incredible objects side-by-side with work by Morris, visitors will discover new perspectives on both the Bauhaus and the Arts and Crafts movement.”

‘Pioneers: William Morris and the Bauhaus’ is planned to open on Saturday, October 19 at the William Morris Gallery.

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