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Institute of Design records, 1955-1998

Identifier: 008.05.03

Two folders of printed materials and correspondence related to development activities of Institute of Design, Illinois Institute of Technology. Includes letter signed by Ansel Adams and correspondence about donation of drinking straws for "straw construction project."


  • Creation: 1955-1998


Language of Materials

Records are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

Available for Research

Collection Size

2 Folders

Biographical Note

The Institute of Design was established in 1939 by László Moholy-Nagy as the School of Design in Chicago. Moholy-Nagy was one of the early masters of the Bauhaus in Weimar and Dessau, Germany. In 1937, a group of Chicago business people representing the Association of Arts and Industries enticed Moholy to come to Chicago from London with their offer to establish a school to carry on the work of the original Bauhaus. The New Bauhaus: American School of Design opened its doors in October 1937, in the remodeled former Marshall Field mansion at 1905 South Prairie Avenue. From the venue of the New Bauhaus in Chicago, Moholy-Nagy championed Bauhaus methods even as he adapted them in his creative output of paintings, photographs, sculptures, photograms, and films as well as in professional design assignments undertaken for private industry and government, and in developing course curricula for the school's classes. The school closed a year later due to a lack of funding, but in February, 1939, László Moholy-Nagy opened his own school, the School of Design in Chicago. Its first campus was at 247 East Ontario Street. In 1944 the school was reorganized as the Institute of Design in Chicago (ID).

In November, 1946, Moholy-Nagy died of leukemia, and was succeeded as director by the architect, Serge Chermayeff. Vision in Motion, the definitive statement of Moholy's educational philosophy, was published posthumously in 1947. In 1949, the Institute of Design merged with Illinois Institute of Technology and the school initially remained at its downtown location. In 1955, it moved into S. R. Crown Hall, the building Mies van der Rohe had designed for IIT's architecture program, which he headed. Today, the Institute of Design is an integral part of IIT, offering a graduate level program and functioning as a college of the university, and is located in downtown Chicago.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Formerly 2006.008

Related Material

See 1998.199 for photos of the straw project.


Catherine Bruck, University Archivist 5/9/2006

Part of the Paul V. Galvin Library. University Archives and Special Collections Repository

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Chicago IL 60616
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Paul V. Galvin Library

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