Transitional Moments: Marcel Breuer,
the W.C. Vaughan Co., and the Bauhaus in America

GSMT Artisan Lecture Series

Historian Robert Wiesenberger will discuss the recently published book, Transitional Moments: Marcel Breuer, the W.C. Vaughan Co., and the Bauhaus in America.

Mr. Wiesenberger provided the essay for this deeply engaging and important architectural publication, that provides an overview of Marcel Breuer's work, as one of the 20th Century's leading architects and designers. This year also marks the 100th Anniversary of the founding of the Bauhaus, considered to be one of the most influential schools of art, architecture, and design.

In particular, Mr. Wiesenberger will describe Marcel Breuer’s “House in the Museum Garden,” a preeminent architectural exhibition of the last century, which was commissioned by the Museum of Modern Art and built in their garden in 1949. Exhibited to record attendance, the house featured the updated Bauhaus prescriptions for modern living – an airy, informal combination living room / dining room and a pass-through kitchen – and was intended to inspire the future of American housing.

The project featured custom hardware produced by W.C. Vaughan in collaboration with Breuer, which included everything from lucite and ebony door knobs to cabinet fittings. Vaughan also supplied hardware for Breuer’s iconic Frank House, the Geller House, Breuer’s own houses in Massachusetts and Connecticut plus houses by Walter Gropius, Philip Johnson and other modernist masters.

The book also includes historical photographs by Ezra Stoller, catalogue entries by H. Reynolds Butler and drawings of the custom hardware produced by W.C. Vaughan, and is published by August Editions.

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Robert Wiesenberger is associate curator of contemporary projects at the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Massachusetts, and a critic at the Yale School of Art. He was the 2014–16 Stefan Engelhorn Curatorial Fellow in the Busch-Reisinger Museum at the Harvard Art Museums, where his work focused on the museums’ Bauhaus collection and developing the digital resource The Bauhaus. He is co-author of Muriel Cooper (2017). He received his Ph.D. in art history from Columbia University.

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