Biography of Gertrud Grunow (1870-1944)

Professor of German music, born in 1870 in Berlin and died in Leverkusen in 1944. He taught at the German Bauhaus school.

His collaboration with Johannes Itten at the Bauhaus had a great influence on the teaching of the art of the second half of the 20th century. His work with the German school are counted as precedents of experiences, such as the Black Mountain College of John Cage, that definitely configured the interactivity between the plastic and the musical.

His musical training was conducted with Bülow, Scharwenka and Lamperti teacher. Grunow he combined his interest in his musical training with his penchant for the plastic arts. Already since its musical training he theorized relations that they could be established between this artistic discipline and variables traditionally associated with Visual Arts, color and movement. At the behest of the Swiss painter Johannes Itten, was Professor at the Weimar Bauhaus between 1919 and 1923, year in which Itten left the institution for discrepancies with its director and founder, the architect Walter Gropius. During his stay in the avant-garde German educational institution, Grunow was in charge of the harmonization theory classes. Itten, commissioned since the founding of the school of initiation (Workus) course, together into your own pedagogy both the spiritual and the purely technical aspects. In the course the Swiss painter taught at the Bauhaus focused on three aspects: the importance of the gymnastic exercises to awaken the expressivity of the body, contact materials and studies of nature and movement. It was precisely to promote the first of these aspects when Itten Gropius called attention to Grunow, providing this avant-garde musical base required to enhance these exercises. Following the resignation of Itten, Grunow left the Bauhaus and went on to serve as Professor of music in Hamburg between 1926 and 1934. After leaving Germany for the ascension to power of the Nazi party (see Nazism) and until his death in Leverkusen in 1944 (after his return to his homeland at the end of the second world war), Grunow practiced music teaching from a perspective shared with Itten in various countries, including England and Switzerland.

Links on the Internet; web page in English of the Bauhaus Archive in Berlin, which contains extensive information and images of the works belonging to the German school.


WINGLER, H. M. The Bauhaus. Weimar, Dessau and Berlin. 1919-1933 Barcelona, Gustavo Gili, 1975.

FIEDLER, j. & FEIERABEND, P. Bauhaus. Madrid, Könemann, 2000.

DROSTE, M. and BAUHAUS archive. Bauhaus. 1919-1933 Berlin, Benedikt Taschen, 1991.

WHITFORD, F. The Bauhaus. Barcelona, destiny, 1991.

PERELLO, A. M. The keys of the Bauhaus. Barcelona, Planeta, 1990.

BAUHAUS ARCHIVE. Catalogue of the Collections. Architecture, design, painting, graphics, art pedagogy. Bauhaus, Archiv Berlin, 1981.