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Marianne Brandt (German, 1893–1983)
LOT ID: 80490
A Modernist chromium-plated brass Fruit Bowl , 1928

Tableware, Flatware, and Serveware
2.5 х 11.5 in. (6.35 x 29.21 cm.)
Inscribed, BAUHAUS.
Print/Casting Year 1928
Foundry/Publisher Bauhaus Metal Workshop
Lot description
11.5 inches in diameter (29.21cm) MODEL NO. ME 160, of circular form.

Bauhaus metal Workshop produced made of spun brass with a convex bottom and nickel silver plating.

Marianne Brandt (German, 1893 - 1983) painter, sculptor, photographer and designer who studied at the Bauhaus school and became head of the metal workshop in 1928. Today, Brandt's designs for household objects such as lamps, ashtrays and teapots are considered the harbinger of modern industrial design.

Brandt was born in Chemnitz as Marianne Liebe. In 1919 she married the Norwegian painter Erik Brandt, with whom she traveled in Norway and France. She trained as a painter before joining the Weimar Bauhaus in 1923. There she became a student of Hungarian modernist theorist and designer László Moholy-Nagy in the metal workshop. She quickly rose to the position of workshop assistant and succeeded Moholy as the workshop's director in 1928, serving in the post for one year and negotiating some of the most important Bauhaus contracts for collaborations with industry. These contracts for the production of lights and other metal workshop designs were a rare example of one of the workshops helping to fund the school. After leaving the Bauhaus for Berlin in 1929, Brandt worked for Walter Gropius in his Berlin studio. She subsequently became the head of metal design at the Ruppel firm in Gotha, where she remained until losing her job in the midst of the ongoing financial depression in 1932.

During the period of National Socialism in Germany, Brandt attempted to find work outside of the country, but family responsibilities called her back to Chemnitz. She was unable to find steady work throughout the period of the Third Reich. In 1939 she did become a member of the "Reichskulturkammer," the official Nazi organization of artists, in order to obtain a few art supplies, which had otherwise been forbidden to her. However, Brandt was never a member of the National Socialist Party. After many years of living apart, she and Erik Brandt officially divorced in 1935.

Brandt died in Kirchberg, Saxony at the age of 89. While the Bauhaus was generally reviled as "decadent" during much of the GDR period, by the end of her life Brandt had a loyal group of students from her many years as a teacher of design.

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A Modernist chromium-plated brass Fruit Bowl by Marianne Brandt
  • A Modernist chromium-plated brass Fruit Bowl by Marianne Brandt
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