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William S. Huff collection on the Hochschule für Gestaltung Ulm

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MS 139

The Hochschule für Gestaltung (HfG) material covers the range of the HfG’s fourteen academic years and later accomplishment of many of the school’s faculty and a number of its students. When the HfG abruptly closed in 1968, a number of persons had the presence of mind to box documents and artifacts and to deposit them in a storehouse of the Ulmer Museum, which is part of the Cultural mandate of the City of Ulm, one of three governmental funders of the HfG. Eventually, the City of Ulm established the HfG-Archiv as part of the City Archive. This, of course, is the prime depository of the archaeology of the HfG and is expected to remain so. Because of the nature of the base of the HfG-Archiv’s collection, there is the possibility that the Huff papers include items that the HfG-Archiv does not have. For one, the HfG-Archiv does not have original pedagogic notes and aquarelle charts on the theory of color that were written expressly for Huff by Bauhäusler and HfGer teacher, Helene Nonné-Schmidt.

Huff’s HfG papers include the following: All issues of ulm, the Journal of the Hochschule für Gestaltung; catalogs of exhibitions from during the tenure of the HfG and afterwards; addresses of Tomás Maldonado on the pedagogic direction of the HfG; student application brochures; a number of the published annual curricula; a number of departmental schedules sheets, showing the hourly distribution of study; original photographic prints by Huff, Hans G. Conrad, and Hans Schmied of the life of the school; whole newspaper pages with articles about the school, including the 1957 expulsion of Max Bill; original posters of Aicher, Mavignier, and Vordemberge-Gildewart; original graphic pieces, as calling cards and New Year’s greeting cards; personal letters to Huff from Max Bill, Inge Aicher-Scholl, Otl Aicher, Tomás Maldonado, F. Vordemberge-Gildewart and wife, Isle Leda, Helene Nonné-Schmidt; color slides of the HfG and of Rotis. (There are also letters from Bauhäusler Josef and Anni Albers, Walter Gropius, Marguerite Wildenhain.)

Post-HfG papers are included as a part of this collection—especially the research and design work carried out by Otl Aicher at his compound in Bavaria, Rotis—for which a modern typeface, designed by Aicher, was named. There are papers of students’ post-HfG activities, including Gunter Schmitz, Hans (Nick) Roericht, Shutaro Mukai, Thomas Dawo, Peter Gautel, and others. There is significant documentation on the school’s closing in 1968. Included as part of the collection are 195 Pearwood models of crystals, made by Dr. F. Krantz of Bonn, Germany.

Dates

  • 1953-2012

Creator

Language of Materials

Collection material primarily in English and German.

Terms of Access

The William S. Huff collection on the Hochschule für Gestaltung Ulm is open for research. The collection is not fully processed; inventories are available in Special Collections, University Libraries, State University of New York at Buffalo.

Copyright

Copyright of papers in the collection may be held by their authors, or the authors' heirs or assigns. Researchers must obtain the written permission of the holder(s) of copyright and the University Archives before publishing quotations from materials in th collection. Most papers may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures unless otherwise specified.

Extent

20 Linear Feet (61 boxes, 1 map drawer)

Overview

The Hochschule für Gestaltung (HfG) material covers the range of the HfG’s fourteen academic years and later accomplishments of many of the school’s faculty and a number of its students. When the HfG abruptly closed in 1968, a number of persons had the presence of mind to box documents and artifacts and to deposit them in a storehouse of the Ulmer Museum, which is part of the Cultural mandate of the City of Ulm, one of three governmental funders of the HfG. Eventually, the City of Ulm established the HfG-Archiv as part of the City Archive. This, of course, is the prime depository of the archaeology of the HfG and is expected to remain so. Because of the nature of the base of the HfG-Archiv’s collection, there is the possibility that the Huff papers include items that the HfG-Archiv does not have. For one, the HfG-Archiv does not have original pedagogic notes and aquarelle charts on the theory of color that were written expressly for Huff by Bauhäusler and HfGer teacher, Helene Nonné-Schmidt.

Biographical Note

William S. Huff, emeritus professor of architecture at the State University of New York at Buffalo, was born on June 8, 1927, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. After serving in the Navy during World War II, Huff attended Yale University, where he received his undergraduate degrees (1949, 1952) and master’s degree (1972). He attended the Ulm School of Design (Hochschule fur Gestaltung) during the 1956/1957 school year as a Fulbright scholar and later taught there. From 1958-1960, Huff worked for Architect Louis I. Kahn whom he considered one of his great influences. William S. Huff was a dedicated educator, teaching architecture at Carnegie Institute of Technology, Carnegie-Mellon University and the State University of New York at Buffalo.

William S. Huff died on January 21, 2021.

Historical Note

The post-World War II Hochschule für Gestaltung (HfG), which opened in 1953 and closed in 1968, had a tenure of fourteen academic years, roughly the same as its acknowledged progenitor, the post-WWI Bauhaus (1919-1933). It set up provisional quarters in the re-established Volkshochschule in the center of bomb-devastated Ulm and then moved to new buildings at the edge of the town on Ulm’s Kuhberg in mid-1955. Its dedication was an impressive gathering of surviving Bauhäusler— consecrated by Walter Gropius’ inaugural address. The establishment of the HfG had a crucial American connection: John J. McCloy, first United States High Commissioner for Germany, was able to pledge the support of one million D-Marks from the government of the United States, on the condition that the German sponsoring Geschwister-Scholl-Stiftung could match it. This was achieved mainly through the efforts of Inge Scholl, with the aid and support of Otl Aicher and Max Bill.

Arrangement

A detailed inventory is available on site. The collection is not fully processed and has not been arranged in series.

Other Finding Aid

A partial inventory, created and annotated by William Huff, is available online at https://library.buffalo.edu/archives/pdf/ms-139-public-partial-inventory.pdf

Acquisition Information

The William S. Huff collection on the Hochschule für Gestaltung Ulm was a gift to the University Archives, donated by William S. Huff, 2006-2012.

Accruals and Additions

Further accruals are expected to this collection.

Related Resources

MS 139.1, William S. Huff collection on Louis I. Kahn, 1949-2012
MS 139.2, William S. Huff papers, 1952-1988

Processing Information

Collection is not fully processed.
Finding aid encoded by Danielle White, August 2014.

Creator

Source

Title
Finding Aid for the William S. Huff collection on the Hochschule für Gestaltung Ulm
Status
unprocessed
Author
Finding aid prepared by Archives staff.
Date
2012
Description rules
dacs
Language of description
und

Repository Details

Part of the University Archives Repository

Contact:
420 Capen Hall
Buffalo New York 14260-1674 US
716-645-2916
716-645-3714 (Fax)