Oskar Schlemmer

Dates1888 - 1943
RolesArtist, Photographer
BornStuttgart, Germany
DiedBaden-Baden, Germany

"[Oskar Schlemmer] transformed into abstract terms of geometry or mechanics his observation of the human figure moving in space. His figures and forms are pure creations of imagination, symbolizing eternal types of human character and their different moods, serene or tragic, funny or serious."

So wrote Walter Gropius, founder of the Bauhaus School in Germany. Schlemmer joined the staff of the Bauhaus School in 1921 as "master" in the mural workshop, becoming head of the sculpture workshop the following year. His career up until that point had been richly varied, including experiments with dance and designing scenery and costumes in between stints in the army. In 1923 he also became the director of the stage workshop.

Dismissed from his professorship in 1933 amidst Nazi censorship, Schlemmer moved from the city to a small village in southwestern Germany and later to the town of Sehringen in the southern Black Forest. With his work increasingly banned by the Nazis, by 1938 he had begun to earn his living as a house painter in Stuttgart. Following an illness, Schlemmer died at Baden-Baden at age fifty-four.