Feature by

American Bauhaus – Enriching the legacy of Black Mountain College

Support American Bauhaus on Kickstarter to pre-finance the project and its production:

This important publication creates a space for the lore of the birth of Black Mountain College, which provided a new creative home for many refugees from WWII in Europe from 1933–1957, allowing Bauhaus to live on in the US. A place of freedom and creativity, as we wish it. Let this publication take you into this world and inspire you to make our earth a colourful place. 

Slanted Publishers American Bauhaus Kickstarter Mockups 01

In 1992, the Partner and Creative Director at studio1500 Erik Schmitt attended the reunion of Black Mountain College in San Francisco. The school is credited with shaping some of the greatest artists in American history: Willem de Kooning, John Cage, Merce Cunningham, Buckminster Fuller, Franz Kline, and Robert Rauschenberg among them. Schmitt was invited because his two aunts and their family friend Ruth Asawa attended BMC. He took extensive notes that day and took photographs at the cocktail party after the event at Ruth Asawa’s home. Those quotes and photographs are the foundation of the book American Bauhaus.

Slanted Publishers American Bauhaus Kickstarter Mockups 05

Each quote has a page devoted to it. The quote is presented in its entirety along with the time it was uttered. A fragment of the quote is also reproduced at a large scale bleeding off the edge of the page and travelling onto the following spread. In essence, it is an evocation of the interplay of the conversation that took place on that day. The name of the book, “American Bauhaus” was inspired by a quote Erik Schmitt recorded on the day of the reunion by Peter Oberlander who remembered Joseph Albers saying: “Black Mountain is a minimal version of the Bauhaus … Go there.”

Slanted Publishers American Bauhaus Kickstarter Mockups 12

American Bauhaus
Publisher: Slanted Publishers
Content and Design: Erik Schmitt
Format: 17.78 × 25.4 cm
Volume: 112 pages
Language: English
Cover paper: Meta Paper EcoFibres Jute, 300 g/sm
Inside paper: Meta Paper EXTRAROUGH Warm White 105 g/sm
Printing: Black and white silkscreen printing on the cover. Spot color in the inside
Bookbinding: Open stitch binding, black thread
Printer: Stober
ISBN: 978-3-948440-38-1
Price: € 29.– / $ 35.–

Support American Bauhaus on Kickstarter and preorder a copy or grab one of the rewards such as a set of unique postcards, a poster, or a hand altered edition of the book:


Slanted Publishers American Bauhaus Kickstarter Mockups 04

More articles

Karl Oskar Blase was born in 1925 in Cologne, Germany. He was a prolific painter, designer, sculptor and exhibition curator. His work included magazine covers, for publications such as Form and Gebrauchsgraphik, stamp designs for the German Postal Service and film posters for companies such as Atlas Films.
The Best Swiss Posters Award was an annual competition, judged by a Swiss Jury. They selected a range of posters, showcasing a range of poster styles from completely typographic designs such as the work of Robert Büchler, to the illustrated posters of Donald Brun.