Tea Infuser and Strainer

Designer: Marianne Brandt (German, Chemnitz 1893–1984 Kirchberg)

Date: ca. 1924

Medium: Silver and ebony

Dimensions: H. 2-7/8 in. (7.3 cm)

Classification: Metalwork-Silver

Credit Line: The Beatrice G. Warren and Leila W. Redstone Fund, 2000

Accession Number: 2000.63a-c

Rights and Reproduction: © 2017 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York


Under the direction of Walter Gropius, the Bauhaus sought a union of art and technology, with an emphasis on developing prototypes for industrial production. Brandt, the sole woman enrolled in the school's metal workshop, designed this silver teapot while still a student. By interrelating a number of pure geometric forms, including the hemisphere, circle, and cylinder, Brandt's design explores their formal relationship in space. Its very form and materials serve as the teapot's sole decorative elements, reflecting the Bauhaus emphasis on simplicity in design, without applied ornament. Like other functional Bauhaus items, the teapot was designed to work well in addition to looking good-it is well balanced and easy to pour. Like many of the metalwork designs of the Bauhaus, the teapot was conceived as a prototype for mass production, though this example is made of brass, silver, and ebony, expensive materials that would have precluded the broad audience hoped for by Bauhaus leaders.