Herbert Bayer collection
Scope and Contents
There is some representation of Bayer’s work in Germany. These include eine, zwei, and zehn million mark banknotes created for the Weimar Republic's State Bank of Thuringia (1923) and a framed print of the book cover: Staatliches Bauhaus in Weimar 1919-1923 designed by Bayer and Laszlo Moholy-Nagy (1923). There is one copy of Bayer's 1936 brochure: Deutschland Ausstellung, an exhibition for tourists of the Berlin Olympic Games. The brochure includes text and imagery of German history, the Third Reich, and Hitler.
Other items of interest include a poster and brochures of retrospective exhibitions at Denver Art Museum's Herbert Bayer Archive; a poster designed for Fortune magazine (1941): "Freedom of the Seas is in Your Backyard;" and "Libres," a poster created for the Office of the Coordinator of Inter-American Affairs (1942).
- circa 1923-1968
Conditions Governing Access
Biographical / Historical
He left the school in 1928 to pursue his design career, first in Berlin, and then in the United States. In 1946, he moved to Aspen, Colorado to work as design consultant, and eventually Chairman of the Department of Design, for packaging firm Container Corporation of America (CCA) and visionary executive Walter Paepcke. Bayer's ads for CCA were known for their spare text and emphasis on visuals. Bayer explained:
These advertisements differed insofar from the usual copy-packed concept, as a limit of fifteen words was set for the text, thereby making the design the common denominator and the dominant element.1
Influenced by the Aspen Institute of Humanistic Studies, Paepcke, with Bayer as Art Director, created Great Ideas of Western Man, a series of CCA advertisements featuring Western philosophical quotations illustrated by renowned artists such as Rene Magritte, Ben Shahn, and Man Ray. What set these ads apart was that aside from the corporation's name, there is no mention of its products in the ads.
Later, Bayer would work for the Atlantic Richfield Oil Company, and as a printmaker, sculptor, and painter. In 1970, he was awarded the prestigious American Institute of Graphic Arts medal for exceptional contribution to design and visual communication. In 2008, artist and gallery director Hugo Anderson wrote:
Of all the artists associated with the Bauhaus during its brief 15 years, it is Herbert Bayer who actually devoted a lifetime to a career which incorporated the ideal of total integration of the arts, in design, advertising, architecture, public sculpture and painting.2
Herbert Bayer died in 1985 at his home in Montecito, California at age 85.
1 Great Ideas; Container Corporation of America. Edited by John Massey. Chicago: Container Corporation of America. Introduction by Herbert Bayer, pp.xi.
2 Herbert Bayer: Bauhaus and Beyond. Hugo Anderson, 2008. Retrieved 4/2011 from: http://www.a-r-t.com/bayer/.
2.59 Linear Feet (2 oversize boxes, 1 framed print)
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Finding aid encoded by Megan Moltrup, February 2012
- Bayer, Herbert
- Commercial artists -- United States -- History -- 20th century
- Container Corporation of America
- Designers -- United States -- History -- 20th century
- Graphic artists -- United States -- History -- 20th century
- Graphic arts -- 20th century -- Exhibitions.
- Graphic arts -- United States -- History -- 20th century
- Tear sheets
- Herbert Bayer collection
- Cary Graphic Design Archives
- Ready To Publish
- Megan Moltrup
- 13 February 2012
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description