Karla Grosch

1928–1932 Teacher at Bauhaus Dessau

Portrait of Karla Grosch, Dessau, Photo: Marianne Brandt (?), around 1928–29.
Portrait of Karla Grosch, Dessau, Photo: Marianne Brandt (?), around 1928–29. © Bauhaus-Archiv Berlin.
  • Born 1.6.1904 Weimar, Grand Duchy of Saxony-Weimar-Eisenach (German Reich) | Germany
  • Died 8.5.1933 Tel Aviv, Mandate for Palestine | Israel

  • Professions Teacher, Dancer

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.
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.’ [BF]

  1. Literature:
  2. · Felix Klee (1960): Paul Klee. Leben und Werk in Dokumenten, Erschienen in der Reihe "Atelier", Zürich.
    · Felix Klee (1979): Paul Klee, Briefe an die Familie 1893-1940, Köln.
    · 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.
    · Unveröffentlichte Briefen von Karla Grosch und Lily Klee, Stadtarchiv Zürich.
    · Zwei Texte von Karla Grosch aus der Zeit in der Palucca-Schule im Palucca-Archiv der ADK.

Karla Grosch

Bauhaus Dessau: Master and teacher

Period: 1928–32
Main focus: Teacher for women's gymnastics and women's sports

Bauhaus circle

Period: 4.1932–9.1932
Main focus: Intern in the photo workshop

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