Bauhaus Band

Object Details


Bauhaus Band


T. Lux Feininger (American, born Germany 1910 - 2011)




about 1931 - 1932


Gelatin silver print


11.4 × 8.3 cm (4 1/2 × 3 1/4 in.)


© Estate of T. Lux Feininger

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The sheer prevalence in number, of clowning and grimacing pictures, is an indication of what I am speaking of...not only were my "models" everlastingly ready to "cut up," but I, too, must have been very ready to photograph their antics. My self critique led me to conclude that I was protesting against something in these pictures...I had judged the "official" Bauhaus tone-setters...guilty of taking themselves too damned seriously, and that they needed "taking down."

Thus T. Lux Feininger recalled the mood informing his picturemaking during his time as a student at the German crafts school, the Bauhaus. This playful photograph shows three unidentified members of the Bauhaus band with their instruments humorously juxtaposed and a ladder that neither leans on any wall nor leads anywhere. The smiling man at the center, wearing a bow tie and bellboy's cap, strums the banjo held by the grinning man at the right, who in turn appears to singlehandedly support the ladder upon which a third man plays the slide trombone in a dramatic, downward thrust parallel to the lines of the ladder. Influenced by the Jazz Age, both players and photographers evoke the lively spirit of that revolutionary movement in music.

Arrows of Time: Photographs from the J. Paul Getty Museum (January 24 to April 2, 1995)
  • Armand Hammer Museum of Art and Cultural Center at UCLA (Los Angeles), January 24 to April 2, 1995
Lyonel Feininger: Photographs, 1928-1939 (February 25, 2011 to March 11, 2012)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), October 25, 2011 to March 11, 2012
  • Arthur M. Sackler Museum (Cambridge), March 30 to June 2, 2012