Otti Berger (1898 – 1944) Bauhaus Designer weaver

Advertisements
Otti Berger furnishing fabric - Art Institute Chicago
Otti Berger furnishing fabric – Art Institute Chicago

Otti Berger (1898โ€“1944) was a Bauhaus designer, weaver, teacher, and, for a short time, head of the Bauhaus Weaving Workshop. She was born in Zmajavac, Croatia. She was professionally active in Dessau, Berlin, England, Prague, and Croatia.

Education

Between 1921 and 1926, she studied at the art academy in Zagreb. Between 1927 and 1930, she studied at the Bauhaus in Dessau, under Gunta Stรฉlzl and, in 1929, in Sweden.

Otti Berger started a six-month trial semester in the weaving workshop at the Bauhaus in October 1927. In the winter semester of 1928, she took weaving classes with Gunta Stolzl, who had been a student at the Bauhaus since 1919. In 1924, Stรถlzl was appointed a journeywoman in the Bauhaus weaving workshop, of which she became the master and the first female member among the tutors in January 1927. In the new school, the experimentation of the Weimar years gave way to Dessau’s functionalism. (Halรฉn, 2019)ย 

Paris Design Week

Biography

In 1929, she took a summer course at the Practical Weaving School in Stockholm. There, she became interested in old Scandinavian craft textiles. The tapestry-style rodlakan, rya, and rag-rug weavings had a particular influence on her designs. She also researched the textile collections at the Museums of Decorative Arts in Oslo and Bergen, both run by relatives.

Sample (Upholstery Fabric)
Sample (Upholstery Fabric) designed by Otti Berger (Art Institute Chicago)

She produced mass-marketable textiles with factories in Germany, Switzerland, the Netherlands, and Britain. She also sold her products to a large market. She also fully embraced the notion that both hand-weaving and machine-weaving should be used in beneficial ways. Berger, perhaps except Annie Albers, was the only textile artist at the Bauhaus who was well-known internationally as a designer.

As a result of Berger’s highly inventive research into various blends of strong and suitable for standardised production of natural and synthetic fibres, three of her inventions were granted patents. Berger established her own company in Berlin after the Dessau Bauhaus shut down in September 1932. With an emphasis on the physical characteristics of textiles, such as structure, elasticity, and durability, she created fabrics using incredibly creative combinations of synthetic and natural fibres.

She worked with Gunta Stรฉlzl and for many businesses in Germany, England, the Netherlands, and Czechoslovakia. In 1933, she joined the Wohnbedarf department store in Zรผrich as a design consultant. In 1934, she was commissioned to create the textiles and wallcoverings for the Corso cinema and restaurant, which opened in Zurich. Wohnbedarf displayed and offered for sale her textiles and Alvarรฉs’ wooden furniture in 1934.

She created fabrics for curtains for De Ploeg in Bergeyk, the Netherlands, in 1935; after relocating to England, she created textiles for Helios in Bolton; after being denied a visa for the United States, she travelled to Prague and then to Croatia; she was then imprisoned in a Nazi concentration camp, where she passed away in 1944 or 1945.

She was one of the first women designers to use a designer label, and the fabrics made in her studio were the first to reflect light and block out sound. Her avant-garde designs were shown at international shows and in publications, and she often wrote and published her own articles. Otto Berger died tragically in the Auschwitz concentration camp in 1944 or 1945, but no one knows the exact date.

European Design Festival Awards

Sources

Byars, M., & Riley, T. (2004). The design encyclopedia. Laurence King Publishing. https://amzn.to/3ElmSlL

Halรฉn. (2019). The Bauhaus Weaver and Textile Designer Otti Berger (1898โ€“1944/45).ย The Journal of the Decorative Arts Society 1850 – the Present, 115โ€“149.

Advertisements

Design books – Amazon

* This website may contain affiliate links, and I may earn a small commission when you click on links at no additional cost to you. As an Amazon and Sovrn affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Advertisements

More Textile Designers

  • Fabric Samples of Bauhaus students, 1921-31.ย 

    Fabric Samples of Bauhaus students, 1921-31.ย 

    Student fabric from the Bauhaus showcases creativity and talent, blending art and technology, with bold geometric patterns and playful abstract shapes. These fabrics make a statement and add Bauhaus-inspired style to any space.Read More →


    Learn More โ†’

  • Candace Wheeler: The Art and Enterprise of American Design

    Candace Wheeler: The Art and Enterprise of American Design

    Candace Wheeler rose to prominence as the top late-nineteenth-century American textile designer by educating herself to match and eventually surpass the achievements of advanced European designers. She transitioned from needlework to fabric and interior design.Read More →


    Learn More โ†’

  • Annie Coop – Australian Textile Studio

    Annie Coop –  Australian Textile Studio

    Print-to-order textile studio. Annie Cooper, a Sydney-based designer, owns and operates Annie Coop, an Australian textile studio. Their extensive fabricRead More →


    Learn More โ†’

  • Evelyn Wyld (1882 – 1973) British Designer textiles and rugs

    Evelyn Wyld (1882 – 1973) British Designer textiles and rugs

    Evelyn Wyld (1882 – 1972) was a British designer who was born in 1882. She studied at the Royal College of Music, London. Read More →


    Learn More โ†’

  • Ethel Mairet (1872 – 1952) British Weaver

    Ethel Mairet (1872 – 1952) British Weaver

    Ethel Mairet was a British weaver who lived in Ceylon and Chipping Campden. In 1918, she moved to Ditchling, Sussex, where she set up her workshop, Gospels. She sought a fresh educational approach to hand-weaving and was particularly knowledgeable about vegetable dyes. She was elected Royal Designer for Industry in 1938 and her weavings were…


    Learn More โ†’

  • Marvel at the beauty of the Snakeshead pattern by William Morris

    Marvel at the beauty of the Snakeshead pattern by William Morris

    Morris used Indian silks and a red and black colour scheme to create Snakehead, featuring his favourite flower, the fritillary.Read More →


    Learn More โ†’

  • De Ploeg Dutch Fabric Group

    De Ploeg Dutch Fabric Group

    De Ploeg has been making and designing high-end upholstery and curtain fabrics since 1923, gaining international recognition for its innovative designs and high-quality fabrics.Read More →


    Learn More โ†’

  • Honiton Lace the beauty of complex patterns

    Honiton Lace the beauty of complex patterns

    Honiton lace is a type of bobbin lace made in Honiton, Devon, in the United Kingdom. Its ornate motifs and complex patterns are created separately, before being sewn into a net ground. Common motifs include daisies, roses, shamrocks, ivy leaves, lilies, camellias, convolvulus, poppies, briony, antwerp diamonds, trefoils, ferns, and acorns.Read More →


    Learn More โ†’

  • Benno Premsela (1920 – 1997) Dutch textile and exhibition designer

    Benno Premsela (1920 – 1997) Dutch textile and exhibition designer

    Benno Premsela (1920 – 1997) was a Dutch textile and exhibition designer. He studied interior design at the Nieuwe Kunstschool, Amsterdam. Read More →


    Learn More โ†’

  • Gunnel Gustafsson Nyman (1909 – 1948) Finnish glass and textile designer

    Gunnel Gustafsson Nyman (1909 – 1948) Finnish glass and textile designer

    Nyman worked for all the great Finnish glass manufacturers of the 20th century: Riihimaki from 1932โ€”47, Nuutajarvi-Notsjo from 1946โ€”48, and Karhula from 1935โ€”37 (and at littala from 1946โ€”47). She designed for both production and studio glass.Read More →


    Learn More โ†’

  • Gertrud Preiswerk ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ญ Swiss textile designer

    Gertrud Preiswerk ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ญ Swiss textile designer

    Gertrud Preiswerk was a Swiss textile designer she was born in Basel. Between 1926 and 1930, she trained in-the weavingRead More →


    Learn More โ†’

  • Katsuji Wakisaka ( b.1944 ) ๐Ÿ—ป Japanese Textile Designer

    Katsuji Wakisaka ( b.1944 ) ๐Ÿ—ป Japanese Textile Designer

    Katsuji Wakisaka is a Japanese textile designer. Between 1960 -1963 he studied textile design in Kyoto.Read More →


    Learn More โ†’

  • Rya – Finnish Weaving Process

    Rya – Finnish Weaving Process

    Eva Brummer set up a studio in Helsinki in 1929 to revive the technique, which involves cutting the pile unevenly in order to create a thick relief effect. As rugs, the weavings became popular in the 1950s and were closely identified with the exuberant Scandinavian Modern style.Read More →


    Learn More โ†’

  • Rasch Brothers German Wallpaper Manufacturer

    Rasch Brothers German Wallpaper Manufacturer

    After WWII, the company maintained its progressive edge with the sale of beautiful wallpapers by designers such as Lucienne Day, Salvador Dal, Shinkichi Tajiri, and Bruno Munari. The firm released their Zeitwande (Timewalls) wallpaper line in 1992, which featured designs by Ron Arad, Ettore Sottsass, Alessandro Mendini, Borek Spek, and Matteo Thun.Read More →


    Learn More โ†’

More design articles

Advertisements

โค๏ธ Receive our newsletter

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.