Widar Halén of the Norwegian National Museum has published a new paper on the leading Bauhaus textile designer Otti Berger in the Decorative Arts Society journal. The Stradling Collection has been assisting Widar with his research, particularly Otti’s connection with Bristol.

Otti was a particular friend of Marcel Breuer‘s. Letters between him, Otti, Walter Gropius and Crofton Gane of Bristol furniture manufacturer PE Gane in 1937 show that Breuer asked Crofton for help to find business opportunities to assist her escape from Nazi Germany. Sadly, Otti was unsuccessful and after returning to Yugoslavia, she was interned and died in Auschwitz in 1944.

We have been able to help Widar locate correspondence and examples of one of her fabrics – ‘zebra’ – including on a chair illustrated in the 1936 Gane catalogue. We are on the lookout for other examples. Widar is now working on a book.

Widar Halén, 2022. ‘Otti Berger (1898-1944). Innovations and designs for Wohnbedarf AG in Zürich.’ Decorative Arts Society Journal, 46, 117-135.

Photo: Otti Berger, Bauhaus textile designer
Photo: a textile design of Otti Berger's featured in a Gane Furniture catalogue, 1936