Karla Grosch

1928–1932 Bauhaus teacher

Bauhaus-Archiv Berlin / © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2016
Portrait of Karla Grosch, Dessau / Photo: Marianne Brandt (?), around 1928–1929.

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Karla Grosch came to the Bauhaus in Dessau in the summer semester of 1928 to work as the head of the female physical education course. Apart from Gunta Stölzl, the master of the Bauhaus weavery, Grosch was the only female teacher at the Bauhaus in Dessau. She was born in Weimar in 1904 and graduated as a dancer from the famous Gret Palucca in Dresden. At the Bauhaus, Grosch took also part in various stage performances, as for example in Oskar Schlemmer's 'Glass dance' and 'Metal dance', which premiered in the context of a guest performance at the Volksbühne in Berlin in 1929. 


August Scherl Verlag / Hugenberg-Konzern / Foto: unbekannt
'Mädchen wollen etwas lernen' (Girls want to learn), in: Die Woche, 4 April 1930, p. 30–33 (no author).

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Grosch stayed at the Bauhaus until 1932. She was closely linked to the family of Paul Klee and lived in a room of Klee's master's house from 1928 until 1930. During her time at the Bauhaus, Grosch had a suspense-packed love affair with the actor Max Werner Lenz, who worked at the Theatre in Dessau at this time. At the beginning of 1933 pregnant Grosch moved with her partner, the Bauhaus student and architect Franz 'Bobby' Aichinger to Palestine. In May of the same year she suffered a cardiac arrest while swimming in the waters of Tel Aviv. Obviously, Aichinger could bring her back to the shore; reanimations were in vain, though. Grosch was buried on the German Cemetary in Sarona near Tel Aviv.

In a letter to Max Werner Lenz, Grosch had characterized herself as it follows: '... this is the way I am, light-dark, warm-cold, up-down.'

Text: Boris Friedewald

Bauhaus-Archiv Berlin
Karla Grosch and students on the terrace of the Bauhaus canteen, with stools by Marcel Breuer, photo: unknown, around 1929.
  1. Literatur:
  2. Klee, Felix (1960): Paul Klee. Leben und Werk in Dokumenten, Erschienen in der Reihe "Atelier", Zürich.
  3. Klee, Felix (1979): Paul Klee, Briefe an die Familie 1893-1940, Cologne.
  4. Kunsthistorisches Seminar der Friedrich Schiller-Universität, Jena u.a. (1999): Paul Klee in Jena 1924, Der Vortrag, In der Reihe "Minerva", Jenaer Schriften zur Kunstgeschichte, Vol. 10, Gera 1999.
  5. Unpublished letters by Karla Grosch and Lily Klee, Stadtarchiv Zürich.
  6. Two texts by Karla Grosch from her time at the Palucca School at the Palucca Archive of the ADK.
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