Paul Klee's Pedagogical Sketchbook

Helen Schrider Higgins’s regular museum trips included the modern art museum, The Phillips Collection in DC. The founder, Duncan Phillips collected a number of the Swiss-German artist, Paul Klee’s works. The museum displayed them as a unit over a number of decades in what became known as the Klee Room at the Phillips. Klee’s work inspired many local artists including Higgins.

In addition, Klee was an influential art teacher at the Bauhaus in Germany from 1921 to 1931. Paul Klee’s Pedagogical Sketchbook is based on his lectures at the Bauhaus and was first translated into English in 1953. The displayed copy of Klee’s Pedagogical Sketchbook belonged to Higgins when she was a student at CU. It may have been part of Kenneth Noland’s graduate course in Advanced Design or integrated into Alexander Giampetro’s studio courses.

The Bauhaus pedagogy sought to break down boundaries between the artist and the craftsman. This page of one of Higgins’s sketchbooks shows drawings of patterns and vessel forms. The sketchbook mark making shows similarities to the page reproduced from Klee’s sketchbook. The case also displays an early undated glazed ceramic sculpture by Higgins and a 2018 miniature terra cotta. In both sculptures, Higgins incised a variety of marks into the clay. 

To view any of the objects in more detail, click on the thumbnail below.

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