Lots to celebrate in Aspen, Colo.
He produced the first travel posters for Aspen (his aspen leaf design remains the town symbol), made public art, renovated landmarks like the Wheeler Opera House and the Hotel Jerome and talked a few townspeople into painting their houses bright colors.
“He must have been a very persuasive man because he convinced the owner to paint her house pink,” said Ann Mullins, an Aspen councilwoman and current owner of that pink house.
His work at the Aspen Institute included designing perhaps the country’s first art hotel, Aspen Meadows. Recently renovated, the 98-room hotel includes a glass-wrapped restaurant with panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and original Bayer works on the back walls.
“So much of Herbert Bayer’s presence in Aspen is about Aspen and being humbled by and present in nature,” said Lissa Ballinger, the art curator at the Aspen Institute who guides tours to Bayer’s earthworks, sculptures and architecture, as well as several galleries featuring his twodimensional prints, textiles, photographs and advertisements. “Many of his exteriors were simple because he didn’t want to distract from the mountains.”
In addition to historic pub crawls and history-focused ski tours, the Aspen Historical Society also offers town tours in an electric coach that include Aspen’s Bauhaus roots. Before you leave the history museum, catch “Bayer & Bauhaus: How Design Shaped Aspen” to see Bayer’s work in many mediums, including his early tourism posters (through spring 2020).
Snowmass builds a village