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2019 | George Adams

Das mechanische Ballett, 1923, by George Adams

George Adams: Bauhäusler in Belsize Park

The 2019 seasonal exhibition tells the remarkable story of George Adams (1904–83), a Bauhaus-trained graphic designer who resided nearby the Isokon after lifetime of adventures.

Born Georg Teltscher in Vienna, he studied at the Bauhaus in Weimar under Gropius, Itten, Kandinsky and Schlemmer and after early work experience in Berlin and Hamburg was posted to Barcelona where he became involved in the Spanish Civil War. He arrived in London in 1938 but was deported to Australia in 1940 aboard the notorious HMS Dunera. Upon release he returned to England and contributed to the war effort in military map making and propaganda design.

He took part in the Festival of Britain (1951) and became a key figure in bringing Bauhaus ideas and pedagogy to Britain as a prolific graphic designer and long-standing teacher at the London College of Printing. He also produced numerous book designs for publishers Thames & Hudson.

 

'The Dwelling House' brochure for MIT by George Adams

 

Later post-war adventures included teaching assignments in the USA (MIT) and West Africa, where he served as Professor of Graphic Design in the new Department of Art at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He finally returned to London and settled in Gospel Oak, less than a mile from the Isokon, where his former mentor Walter Gropius had lived so many years earlier.

 

Nigerian Contemporary Art poster by George Adams

 

George Adams’ extraordinary life story and achievements deserve to be honoured in this Bauhaus centenary year, and the Isokon display is copiously illustrated with many of his works.

 

Download exhibition panels (PDF)

Researched, written and designed by John Allan and Tom de Gay, with generous assistance from Sara Adams.