RECOLLECTING THEUTOPIAN VILLAGE OFLOHELAND, FOUNDED BYLOUISE LANGAARD ANDHEDWIG VON RHODENIN 1919.
ARCHIVE IN PROGRESS.
WORKSHOPS FORTHE NEW WOMAN
BY MADELINE WEISBURGpost.at.moma.org
Exactly one century ago, Walter Gropius established the now famous Bauhaus in Weimar, Germany, but few know that only 100 miles away another center of utopian artistry and intellectualism opened that same year, with one key difference: All of the students were women.
“I FELT I WAS IN A COLONYOF TOLSTOY SUPPORTERSIN SOUTHERN RUSSIA.”
EUGEN DIEDERICH ON HIS FIRST VISIT TO LOHELAND IN 1919
“They had bought 160 acres of land, forest, fields and meadows. In the forest on the mountain ridge they wanted to set up the houses, build practice rooms and workshops. They were already at work to create gardens and an irrigation system. Everything was to function as a body of a community, which should itself develop the modern woman to an individual being. My objection was that the woman develops through the man. Given to me in response, was, ‘No, the salvation happens through movement’. The speech did not sound feminist at all, but rather humble before the higher, the unknown god. And before my eyes stood the Vestals of the Romans, who watched the holy flame, the figures of the seers and priestesses of the past, of our people with their secret powers of preservation.”
“IN GERMANY: A ‘LOHELANDER’, IN FRANCE AN AMERICAN PHOTOGRAPHER: MAN RAY.”
LASZLO MOHOLY-NAGYON THE INVENTION OF PHOTOGRAMS
In connection with the successful rediscovery of Laszlo Moholy-Nagy's photograms in 1990, an essay from 1926, also written by Moholy-Nagy was reprinted, in which he deals with his technique of the photogram. The occasion for these personal remarks was a public debate, which he led with El Lissitzky regarding the question of who should be attributed inventor of the photogram process. Moholy-Nagy recognises that the origins of the photogram derive from two places. “In Germany: a ‘Lohelander’, in France an American photographer: Man Ray.” This is an overly exceptional constellation. Moholy-Nagy compared no one less than Man Ray, the photo artist of the Parisian surrealistic circles and legend of his lifetime, with a Lohelander. However, at the time of this reference, no one knew what a Lohelander could be. Various researchers then pursued this lead, but for a long time their efforts remained unsuccessful. Finally a lucky coincidence led photo historian, Floris M. Neusüss on the right track. Moholy-Nagy had stayed several times in Loheland, presumably because his wife, Mrs Lucia Moholy was strongly influenced by the ‘Jugendbewegung’ (youth movement) and had appropriate contacts. Finally, the photograms mentioned by Moholy-Nagy were found in the Loheland archive, attributed to a young woman from Bremerhaven, Bertha Günther. Günther also belonged to the dancers’ “glittering class” and around 1920, she made her first photograms of grasses and flowers, whose delicate forms and subtle beauty had inspired Moholy-Nagy to make his own photogram works.
GAZELLE OF LOHELAND
BREEDING GREAT DANES
The kennels, where the Great Danes were kept and bred, shed light on another important factor: Hedwig von Rohden liked dogs. Louise Langgaard had given her a puppy as a present in 1925. In Loheland, one thing was important: if someone wanted to do something, then she should pursue it with a passion. This puppy was the catalyst for Loheland’s Great Dane breeding activities, which went on to win many prizes. As reported in detail in the press, one of the Great Danes was even sold to the then Mayor of New York City. The women of Loheland received so much money for this dog, that according to one contemporary, you could have bought a large mansion in the centre of Berlin with it.
LOHELAND IN 2019 100 YEARS LATER
In 1971, the founders’ generation established the Loheland Foundation using their assets, which had been jointly developed since 1919. Thus, education could continue to be holistically maintained at this traditional place. Today there is a Waldorf day care center, a Rudolf Steiner school, an academy, a conference hotel, workshops, biodynamic agriculture and a historical archive. All areas interlock and work together.