Herbert Bayer

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Herbert Bayer (1900 – 1985), Austrian graphic designer, painter, photographer, sculptor, Art Director, environmental & interior designer and Architect, was widely recognized as the last living member of the Bauhaus and was instrumental in the development of the Atlantic Richfield Company's corporate art collection until his death in 1985.

Bayer apprenticed under the artist Georg Schmidthammer in Linz. Leaving the workshop to study at the Darmstadt Artists' Colony, he became interested in Walter Gropius's Bauhaus manifesto. After Bayer had studied for four years at the Bauhaus under such teachers as Wassily Kandinsky and László Moholy-Nagy, Gropius appointed Bayer director of printing and advertising.

In the spirit of reductive minimalism, Bayer developed a crisp visual style and adopted use of all-lowercase, sans serif typefaces for most Bauhaus publications. Bayer is one of several typographers of the period including Kurt Schwitters and Jan Tschichold who experimented with the creation of a simplified more phonetic-based alphabet. Bayer designed the 1925 geometric sans-serif typeface called universal,[1] now issued in digital form as Bayer Universal.[2] The design also inspired ITC Bauhaus and Architype Bayer, which bears comparison with the stylistically related typeface Architype Schwitters.

In 1928, Bayer left the Bauhaus to become art director of Vogue magazine's Berlin office. He remained in Germany far later than most other progressives. In 1936 he designed a brochure for the Deutschland Ausstellung, an exhibition for tourists in Berlin during the 1936 Olympic Games - the brochure celebrated life in the Third Reich, and the authority of Hitler. However, in 1937, works of Bayer's were included in the Nazi propaganda exhibition "Degenerate Art", upon which he left Germany in 1938 to settle in New York City where he had a long and distinguished career in nearly every aspect of the graphic arts. In 1944 Bayer married Joella Syrara Haweis, the daughter of poet Mina Loy.

In 1946 the Bayers relocated. Hired by industrialist and visionary Walter Paepcke, Bayer moved to Aspen, Colorado as Paepcke promoted skiing as a popular sport. Bayer's architectural work in the town included co-designing the Aspen Institute and restoring the Wheeler Opera House, but his production of promotional posters identified skiing with wit, excitement, and glamour.

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