Herbert Bayer, Design for a Multimedia Trade Fair Booth, 1924. Opaque watercolor, charcoal and touches of graphite with collage of cut printed and colored papers on off-white wove paper. Harvard Art Museums/Busch-Reisinger Museum, Gift of the artist, BR48.101. © Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn. © President and Fellows of Harvard College
Identification and Creation
Object Number
Herbert Bayer, American (Haag, Austria 1900 - 1985 Santa Barbara, CA)
Design for a Multimedia Trade Fair Booth
Other Titles
Former Title: Design for a Multi-media Building
Work Type
Level 3, Room 3500, Special Exhibitions Gallery
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Physical Descriptions
Opaque watercolor, charcoal, and touches of graphite with collage of cut printed and colored papers on off-white wove paper
sheet: 54.6 × 46.8 cm (21 1/2 × 18 7/16 in.)
frame: 74 × 58.7 × 2.5 cm (29 1/8 × 23 1/8 × 1 in.)
35.6 × 35.6 × 2.5 cm (14 × 14 × 1 in.)
Inscriptions and Marks
  • label: verso, upper left, typewritten in black ink:

    messe[...]sst [...](e)nen für einen besti(m)[...]n a[...](z).b. zahncreme, innen v(e)[...]an[...]en reklame durch;
    a. film projektion von innen nach aussen
    b. schreieben [sic] mit leuchtschrift
    c. gleichzeitiges rufen durch laut-sprecher
    (d. Buc)hstaben-rauch
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Busch-Reisinger Museum, Gift of the artist
© Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn
Accession Year
Object Number
Modern and Contemporary Art
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Label Text: 32Q: 1520 Art in Germany Between the Wars (Interwar and Bauhaus) , written 2015
Bauhaus student Herbert Bayer created these two drawings shortly before he was appointed head of the school’s newly established printing and advertising workshop. Part of a series of fanciful (and unrealized) designs for display kiosks and other structures, they reflect the Bauhaus belief that everyday life and society could be transformed through modern design. They draw on Bayer’s earlier training in architecture and graphic design, but also reveal the influence of Dada collage as well as Dutch de Stijl and Russian constructivist ideas at the Bauhaus in the early 1920s. Bayer’s kiosk (object BR48.100), constructed of intersecting geometric planes in bold primary colors, combines architecture, typography, and commerce in a novel structure that functions as an advertisement as well as a site where products such as beer and chocolate are sold. His design for a multimedia building adds a loudspeaker, electric lights, film projection, and smoke-lettering to produce a multisensory experience for the would-be consumer of Regina toothpaste.

Publication History

Jeannine Fiedler, ed., Bauhaus, exh. cat., Könemann Verlagsgesellschaft (Cologne, Germany, 2000), p. 334-335

Leah Dickerman and Barry Bergdoll, Bauhaus 1919-1933: Workshops for Modernity, exh. cat., ed. David Frankel, Museum of Modern Art, New York (New York, 2009), cat. no. 225, p. 177, color repr.

"Werkstatt Grafik & Druck", Architectural Digest, Condé Nast Verlag (Munich, 2018), No. 193, p. 174, p. 174, ill. (color)

Exhibition History

From Werkbund to Bauhaus: Art and Design in Germany 1900-1934, Busch-Reisinger Museum, Cambridge

Art of the Weimar Era, Busch-Reisinger Museum, Cambridge, 04/05/1982 - 05/22/1982

Bauhaus Art and Design, Busch-Reisinger Museum, Cambridge, 06/07/1982 - 10/30/1982

A Tribute to Walter Gropius, Busch-Reisinger Museum, Cambridge, 05/16/1983 - 07/01/1983

Modell Bauhaus, Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin-Kreuzberg, 07/22/2009 - 10/04/2009

Bauhaus 1919-1933: Workshops for Modernity, Museum of Modern Art, New York, New York, 11/08/2009 - 01/25/2010

32Q: 1520 Art in Germany Between the Wars (Interwar and Bauhaus), Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 03/06/2015 - 05/06/2015

The Bauhaus and Harvard, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 02/08/2019 - 07/28/2019

Subjects and Contexts

The Bauhaus

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