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Verena Bornmann

The Rasch Wallpaper Factory — a cooperation project with the Bauhaus and Arnold Bode

In the 1920s, Bauhaus representatives already designed wallpapers and worked closely with the Rasch wallpaper company in Bramsche near Osnabrück. It is astonishing that Arnold Bode, the founder of the documenta, also worked with Rasch in the 1950s to design wallpapers.

Bauhaus wallpaper was such a tremendous achievement that today it is regarded as the institution’s greatest commercial success. For this reason, another wallpaper collection was launched on the occasion of the Bauhaus’ centenary in 2019.

Originally founded in 1861 under the name of "J. H. Lücke & Rasch, Tapeten und Rouleauxfabrik,", the wallpaper factory only existed until the 1880s, when it finally had to file for bankruptcy in the face of the competition of the time. The main reason for this was that Rasch printed manually, whereas other companies had already introduced machine printing.

In 1897, Guido Wiecking and Hugo and Emil Rasch founded the wallpaper factory at its present location in Bramsche near Osnabrück and renamed it "Gebr. Rasch GmbH & Co." The family-owned business is still located in Bramsche today and is one of the leading manufacturers in Germany. Collaborations with numerous people from the fields of art, architecture and design, as well as the Bauhaus in Dessau, molded its image and contributed to the company's success.

Arnold Bode was one of the corporate partners of Rasch. Among other activities, he devoted himself to the design of products such as furniture and fabrics. Moreover, he designed wallpapers.#h

wallpaper design by Arnold Bode
© documenta archiv

wallpaper design by Arnold Bode
© documenta archiv

wallpaper design by Arnold Bode
© documenta archiv

wallpaper design by Arnold Bode
© documenta archiv

wallpaper design by Arnold Bode
© documenta archiv

Arnold Bode's wallpaper designs are characterized by abstract, geometric patterns and are restrained in color and structure. Adapted to the respective given conditions of the wall they are also functionally conceived. In a way, they continued the tradition of the Bauhaus and thus follow the design of the Bauhaus wallpaper from the 1920s. To this day, the wallpaper is regarded as the greatest commercial success of the Bauhaus and has since been revived.

At that time, the designs were supplied by students at the Bauhaus. In an open competition, they had the opportunity to submit their ideas, from which fourteen designs were selected for the first collection. The Bauhaus wallpapers had simple structures and were predominantly in light colors. (Stack of pictures)

wallpaper pattern b7 of the "bauhaus 1930"  
© Rasch-Archiv, Tapetenfabrik Gebr. Rasch GmbH & Co., Bramsche

Wallpaper pattern b5 of the "bauhaus 1930"  
© Rasch Archiv, Tapetenfabrik Gebr. Rasch GmbH & Co., Bramsche

wallpaper pattern b6 of the "bauhaus 1930"  
© Rasch-Archiv, Tapetenfabrik Gebr. Rasch GmbH & Co., Bramsche

wallpaper pattern b2 of the "bauhaus 1930"  
© Rasch Archiv, Tapetenfabrik Gebr. Rasch GmbH & Co., Bramsche

It was possible to market the Bauhaus wallpaper collection, which was initially viewed with skepticism, through advertising campaigns. The favorable price, which averaged 1 Mark per wallpaper, also played a major role in advertising. The wallpapers were advertised as "signs of good taste" that would fit into every apartment.

To celebrate the centenary of the Bauhaus, the factory launched yet another collection.

Bauhaus-Tapete Struktur + Farbe wallpaper and colour groups

© Tapetenfabrik Gebr. Rasch GmbH & Co., Bramsche





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