Encyclopedia o f Chicago
Entries : Institute of Design
Institute of Design

Institute of Design

Institute of Design, c.1950
The landmark Chicago institution consecutively known as the New Bauhaus (1937–1938), the School of Design (1939–1944), and the Institute of Design (1944–present) offered the most important photography program in the United States, becoming the seminal location for the education of the modern artist -photographer from the 1930s through the 1960s.

The New Bauhaus opened in 1937 under the sponsorship of the Association of Arts and Industries with László Moholy-Nagy as its first director. Walter Paepcke and his company, Container Corporation of America, provided vital financial support in the early years. The school emphasized experimentation through an unconventional methodology based on the teaching principles developed at the Bauhaus in Germany. The school's goal was to train the “designer of the future” through a curriculum that gave equal weight to, and combined the basic elements of, art, design, and photography. The hiring of Harry Callahan and death of Moholy-Nagy, in 1946, began a shift from the training of designers who used photography toward the training of artistphotographers.

Stephen Daiter Photography, Chicago Public Library, and Robert Henry Adams Fine Art. Light and Vision: Photography at the School of Design in Chicago, 1937–1952. 1994.
Travis, David, Elizabeth Siegel, and Keith F. Davis. Taken by Design: Photographs from the Institute of Design, 1937–1971. 2002.