Walter Peterhans


After studying mathematics in Göttingen, Germany and training in reproduction technique at Akademie der Graphischen Künste in Leipzig, Walter Peterhans (German, 1897-1960) opened a studio for portrait, industrial, and commercial photography in Berlin in 1927. His students included Grete Stern and Ellen Auerbach. From 1929 on he headed the newly founded photography class at the Bauhaus Dessau. Through his instruction Bauhaus photography evolved from mere experimentation into the structured representation of objects and material studies. After the Bauhaus closed in 1933 Peterhans taught at Werner Gräff's photographic school and at the Reimann Schule in Berlin. He immigrated to the US in 1938 and took a professorship at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago.